I received a note this week.  It was from a member of the congregation and in the letter were words of kindness and affirmation and support in these difficult times.  It made all the difference for me.  Those words are holding me up.

In the beginning was the Word.  I have been thinking of this verse from the first chapter of John this week.  In the beginning of time, at the moment of creation, the first thing to move the world was the Word.  Its power and grace as the Spirit moved over the waters.  But I also hear things like, “Actions speak louder than words.”  I wonder if that is always true?  I wonder afresh in this time of pandemic at the power and hope of the Word.

In this challenging time, most action has been taken from us: our places of work and school and worship.  We cannot gather for Bethlehem Serves and weed planter boxes and wash cars and stuff backpacks for children.  We cannot feed hungry people.  We cannot even gather indoors for worship and drink bad Lutheran coffee while we watch children play.  We cannot share the peace or even hug a loved one in a time of loss.  It is painful, very painful.

Yet, from the beginning, there has always been another way to heal and bless, another means of grace.  A way chosen by God, imbedded in the creation and in the sending of his son, the Word made flesh.  Right now, it is our words that must carry the weight of grace and love and hope to the world.  Right now it is our voices that must carry justice, support, compassion and comfort to those we love.  Our strongest gift to each other, in this time, are words of hope carried across phone lines and internet and socially distanced conversations on the grass.

And John reminds us that is enough.  More than enough.  The power of the Word laid in the world is Jesus, the one who saves us all.  And the Word became flesh and lived among us . . . full of grace and truth.  May the words we speak now be full of grace and truth.  May the words we speak bring comfort to the hurting.  May our voices strengthen one another one the journey.  May the crazy memes and comics we send one another add laughter to long days.  And may our most important words, our strongest words, call us to hope and the promise of tomorrow.

The Word of God is among us now, among us still, full of grace and truth.  Full of light in our darkness and hope for all that is yet to be.

Thank you for the words of comfort and support you have shared with me.  Thank you for the words of healing and hope you offer each other.  Together we lighten the darkness.

God bless you all,
Pastor Laura