The Revs. Smiths’ Message for August 16, 2020

We can remember well the shock in mid-March when the government announcement was made that school kids, who were already on their spring break, would have that break extended two more weeks because of COVID-19. If we had not yet realized the profound effect the pandemic would have on us all, that may have been the wake-up call.

Here we are five months later, and those school children have yet to see the inside of one of their classrooms. And with the planned opening of schools just three weeks away, many are wondering what that will look like, and whether it will happen at all.

As anxious as we all are to return to some kind of “normal”, it seems that the angst around this issue is palpable. With our granddaughter ready to start junior kindergarten, and our older son an elementary school music teacher, the questions hit close to home for us. How big will class sizes be? Will masks be required? What will the schedule look like? What safeguards will be in place for students, teachers and staff? Will I want my children to be there at all? And what about daycare if children are not in school?

The matter touches the lives of so many of us, and the complexity and enormity of the decisions that need to be made are overwhelming.

“The Great Commission”, based on Matthew 28:16–20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (emphasis added). Parchment ca. 1010 by a master of the Reichenau Abbey School; from the collection of the Bavarian State Library, Munich; taken from the Wikimedia Commons.

What can we do as people of faith?

  • We could start by trying to make the best decisions we can with the information we have
  • We can remember that God has promised to be with us, and that through the most barren of deserts, and darkest of valleys, the witness of the people of God is that God is faithful
  • We can reach out to one another to help, support and hold others around us, and if we are in need, not to be afraid to ask for help.
  • We can pray for all who are touched by this crisis – government leaders, school boards, administrators, school teachers and other staff, students, parents and their families… all of us – that we would be well, and that through collaboration and support we will get through this together.

May God’s grace and peace be with us all.

Revs. Bob and Helen Smith

This message first appeared in the August 15, 2020, edition of Tidbits.