As I write to you this afternoon, I'm reminded of the Apostle Paul, writing to communities of Christians scattered across the Roman Empire. These days, the reality of physical distance means that we communicate much as Paul did -- remotely, with carefully chosen words and under the emotional weight of imposed separation. Still, I am grateful for the gift of connection that writing brings -- allowing me to picture your faces, to pray for you, and to reflect upon all who will read these words. Writing reconnects me to the deep bonds shared in the community of faith. We find strength in the gift of community that God has given us. We belong to each other.
This week has brought more news impacting our lives in a wide variety of ways: deepened appreciation for those who are serving others, a new reality for our students, teachers, and school employees, and a shared concern over what the coming weeks may hold. This news brings a mix of emotions, all of which are held in God's tender grace, as are all of us. We trust that God is present and lean on that hope.
For some of us, this feels like a time to act, to engage, and to do. Yet there are important guidelines impacting that urge to be productive. For some of us, this feels like a time to wait and to be still. Yet we wonder for how long. Know that wherever you find yourself, your Second family is praying with you. You can email Together@SecondChurch.org if you need help building that sense of connection as we continue holding faith, together.
On Monday, we will provide details about how we will share in the fellowship of Holy Week. There will be videos, music, prayers, and important traditions that transcend the distance that separates us. Given the extension of the stay-at-home order for Marion County and Governor Holcomb's announcement just this afternoon, we expect our LiveStream worship and closed building will continue for some time. We will share more specifics on Monday.
For now, we know Palm Sunday is two days away. In a different way this year, we will observe that day when Jesus entered Jerusalem to both praise and perplexity. We'll remember the shouts of Hosanna that filled the hearts of people with hope and expectation. At 11 a.m. on Sunday, in spite of our distance, we will echo those words of hopeful praise. In fact, I hope you'll send or post pictures of your palms, processions, and parades so that we can connect in this way.
In the days ahead, I pray that you will find the sacred beauty of this holy season in new and unexpected ways.
This day, and always, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
With peace and grace,
How to watch worship on Sunday