High River United Church of High River, Alberta
        

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20
Nov

Getting Through the Weariness of the Pandemic

Posted by on in Ministers’ Reflections
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“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.”
 Matthew 11:28


We are hearing much weariness in people as this pandemic continues with numbers rising and warnings of stricter measures.  We wonder about how much more we can take.  We yearn to see family and friends without worrying about safety protocols.  We long to anticipate a Christmas as we’ve enjoyed in previous years, even as we know this Christmas will be different.  We wish to be rid of masks and distancing and hand-cleansing, and most of all the fear and worry that vibrates within us. 

In your weariness, hear Jesus speak, “Come to me, all you that are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”  Let those words sink in.  Repeat them to yourself until you receive Jesus’ invitation to rest in your faith and in his love.

Jesus looked around at the stress, fear and challenges that people faced in his time (Roman occupation, huge taxes, poverty, disease, back-breaking labour) and his heart ached for them.  Jesus’ close bond with God allowed him to know that God’s heart ached as well.  “Come to me, rest in me,” he said, “for I am gentle and humble in heart…for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

This pandemic isn’t going to magically end and so we must sustain ourselves until the vaccines and improved treatments take us beyond this pandemic.  The day will come – yes, it absolutely will! – when COVID will be addressed and our lives can return to what we wish them to be.  But for now, we must sustain ourselves.  Our faith provides us four ways to sustain ourselves:

1. Pray. Worship. Read Scripture.  This is how we rest in Jesus and lay our burdens in his care. Find time to pray each day – sharing your frustration, your fears, your tears and your weariness.  Listen for God’s word for you.  Just be in God’s presence.  Imagine sitting with Jesus and letting his unconditional love enfold you.


2. Grieve. Cry. There is so much loss right now – loss of connection, loss of loved ones, loss of free movement, loss of hopes and expectations.  Life is frustrating.  We face so much futility right now – things we can not change, things that are out of our control.  And the answer is to cry.  God gave us tears for a reason.  They provide release, healing and adaptation.  You might worry that if you start crying, you will never stop.  But know that you will.  Deep sadness lasts about 2 hours at the most.  So cry – watch a sad movie, read a sad book, pray and let the tears flow. Know that God is with you, wiping the tears from your eyes.  Jesus’ arms are around you.


3. Beauty is all around. Take time to notice what is good and beautiful around you.  Look at the stars.  Notice the sunrise  (they say sunrises are awesome at the south pole at this time of year!)  Watch the birds.   Enjoy your food.  Appreciate your friends and family and the ways you can connect even while apart.   If you start feeling afraid, remind yourself that at this moment, where you are, you are safe.  Enjoy a cup of tea.  Listen to music that brings a smile.  Breathe. Be. Play. Create. Delight. Beauty abounds, even during this pandemic.  Thanks be to God!


4.Do something for someone else.  As followers of Jesus, we are to be there for each other.  Sometimes the best way to get out of our fears and worries is to focus on someone else.  It doesn’t have to be a big thing.  Find something fun you can do or something gentle you can do for someone else to surprise them.  We are meant to care for each other.  (And also remember to be compassionate with yourself.  Reduce your expectations of yourself during this time, as well as your expectations of others.)  Jesus promised that his yoke is easy and his burden is light – so don’t add to your own or others – instead do something that will lighten and brighten life for others.

We will get through this.  We know this to be true.  As Julian of Norwich (1343 – 1416), who grew up during a time of plague wrote, “All shall be well. All shall be well. And all manner of things shall be well.”   Repeat those words to yourself.

 

 

While the waiting may be long, and longer yet, there will come an end.  Until that time, we hold all of you in our prayers each day, and we invite you to lean into your faith, giving your burdens to Jesus and resting in his love.  This is the way through.

 

With love and blessings,

 Rev. Susan & Rev. David

 www.highriverunitedchurch.org

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123 MacLeod Trail S.W. High River, Alberta.

(403) 652-3168

hruc@telus.net

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