Posted on

– Pastor’s Corner –

– Pastor’s Corner –

By The Rev. Andy Schottelkorb Our Savior’s Lutheran • Cornell This pandemic-time of abnormal separation and stasis, is a punch to the gut of our community in many ways. Feelings of despair, uncertainty and of being frozen in place, seem like the new normal these days. In such conditions, finding healthy sources and signs of hope is crucial.

By its nature, hope is elusive. Finding it involves an ongoing game of hide-and-seek, and a waiting game. In the seasons of the church, our situation best fits with the lengthy, discipline-rich challenge of Lent, with serious doses of Good Friday mixed-in.

Hope isn’t easily found in such a season or such a day. When it is found, it usually is fleeting and is anchored in better things yet to come. In the church timeline, this means thinking past the 40 days of Lent, and the long, dark day of Good Friday, to the brilliant and joyous day, and season of Easter.

Currently, we are in the season of Easter, although it doesn’t really feel like we are. So, our mission is to embody Easter, and diligently seek hope and joy in spite of our less hopeful, less joyous present.

Mother Nature is attempting to do her part, by giving us (some) warmer weather and more sunlight lately. I’ve found hope in that, as well as in the hope-filled chirping of the American robins and goldfinches. Even the rumbling of lawnmowers is a sound of hope these days!

Draw strength from all the signs of hope you see, including the unique quality time we have now with our families. Reach out, online or by phone, to family, friends and neighbors. Stay safe, but stay connected!

In his first letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul gives a summary of the good things that come from God. In particular, Paul highlights three gifts: faith, hope and love. I pray and hope you personally, your family and your community, are strengthened by all three of these gifts of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit has already ushered us into a time of hope, seen in the wondrous creativity and selfless service, that is happening online and offline, here in Cornell, and around the world. Keep healthcare workers, scientists, political leaders, parents, teachers and their students, grocery store and restaurant employees, food pantry workers, farmers, and all who are suffering with sickness or grief, in your prayers and in the kindest thoughts of your hearts.

Friends, keep the faith and keep the hope. Believe that God is with us and working to bless us in this time of trial. Keep the faith and keep the hope that this pandemic, too, shall pass. With your patient and hopeful imagination, picture the joy of togetherness that is in store for us.

And now, receive a trial-tested blessing: May God bless you keep you, may God’s face shine on you and be gracious to you, and may God look upon you all with favor and give you God’s peace. Amen.