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– Pastor’s Corner –

– Pastor’s Corner –

By the Rev. Lucy Schottelkorb Big Drywood Lutheran Church • Cadott Error: 2.167812ET7GFP - We are having trouble loading your inspiring Pastor’s Corner article. Please reopen your paper to try again.

Well, did it work?

Hmm. Guess not, because it’s still me and ya’ll, my cup is EMPTY. Anybody else out there feeling this these days? If you are, then maybe you, like me, feel like an unreasonable facsimile of the person you could be, the person God wants you to be, the person God made you to be.

Instead, I am an irascible monster, growling and snapping through my days, feeling sorry for myself, and feeling helpless to improve upon my sad situation or anyone else’s.

How long, O Lord? That’s what the Bible says (in the middle, in those poem/song Psalms I mostly love). More accurately, that’s really what the people of God say in one way or another, all over the Bible’s pages. How long? How much longer does this thing go on?

They weren’t talking about the coronavirus or the rabidity of all things politics in the United States, or the stress of conflicts of our neighbors over racial tensions, poverty, equality and everything else. They weren’t talking about any of those things, but goodness knows, the emotions all fit. Anger. Sorrow. Grief. Frustration. Desolation. Isolation. How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? ( Psalm 13.1) See, that’s what I’ve always liked about the writer of the

Psalms. They pull no punches. Just lay it all out. Because of the Psalms, I know we need not pull our punches with God, either. These days, we “churchy” folk recognize the season of Advent. The time leading up to Christmas. Christmas as a season, it may surprise you to learn – in church understanding – that is actually the time AFTER Christmas Day. Twelve little days. Which might push your “Who cares?” button right now, but actually is worth noting, because of what Advent is about.

Advent is a season of waiting, of longing. There is hope, but it is tinged with all the grief and sorrow of what it is to wait, and long for something that isn’t here yet, for someone who isn’t here yet, for an entire world that hasn’t been washed in the fullness of God’s dream for it yet. In Advent, we “churchy” folk tend to get together (or at least we DID before stupid COVID made us mostly get together ONLINE) and acknowledge that there is some really tough stuff happening right now, and people are suffering. And It. Is. So. Hard. Maybe it feels all the more true this year. Stinkin’ 2020.

But we don’t stop there. We also look back through the pages of God’s activity, as recorded in the annals of the faithful, and recognize the ways in which God has reached out and accompanied people in the past. We see the way in which God sought to be with people and sent Himself in the fleshy humanness of Jesus, to quite literally be with humanity in all its doughy weakness – in sickness, in dying, in death.

And as we see that, we dare to think that just maybe, God could still be up to something today. Maybe God is even with us in all our doughy weakness right now – in this sickness, in this dying, in these deaths.

Maybe today, I’ve got nothing. But sometimes, it’s right there in the nothingness. I am reminded that out of nothing, God created a universe. Out of nothing, God created humankind and sought to be in actual relationship with them. Out of nothing, God came into the lives of an unwed mother and father, a stable, a tiny little podunk town called Bethlehem. Out of nothing, Jesus scraped together a following and invited people to embrace again, novel ideas like loving and caring for one another.

Out of the absolute nothing of death, we “churchy” folk believe He rose again and we are so audacious, we even believe that God promises us a resurrection just like it in God’s time and in the meantime, works through even the nothingness of us. And you know what? I see it.

I see it in the healthcare workers who go into work every day, and throw themselves into their tasks and work so very hard to help. I see it in the scientists, who have put their magnificent minds to the challenge of seeking medicines and vaccines, to outwit the novel coronavirus. I see it in businesses, doing their best to protect customers.

Dear friends, I see it in you, when you still smile behind your masks. When you reach out and help your neighbors, even if you have to do it socially distancedly. When we remember we are so very much stronger when we do things together, when we are kind and when we allow ourselves to be guided by hope. Because, hope ain’t nothing. I guess I do got something, after all. May it be so for you, as well.