Pause. Take a breath. Let it out slowly.
I thank God for you. I thank God you are here, in this moment, reading these words and that God has brought us this far along the way. Because it has been a difficult road, and we still have a way to go.
I am thankful for each of our council members who, on top of all the troubles of the past year and a half, gathered each month to discern where God was leading us and trusted God in the making of our decisions. I am thankful for those who gave their gifts in artwork, worship planning, music, community care, garden, property, technology, office administration and so many other areas. I am grateful for the ways you have called each other, sent cards and ministered to one another along this way. I am thankful for all the actions I did not get to see, but know you did in loving your neighbors and your community.
Pause. Take a breath. Release slowly. Hear God also saying, “thank you.”
Julian of Norwich talks about discovering, in her revelations, God’s gratitude for her. Isn’t that a wondrous thought? May we discover God’s gratitude for us, the children of God, who have pressed on following our Shepherd’s lead. Though we were in the valley of the shadow of death, we kept walking.
We still experience the shadow, and our world is still heavy with grief and sickness, but we are perhaps witnessing new places of rest and green pastures. We move forward on this way, returning to in-person worship, different people than we once were. And that’s okay. Because whatever new hurts and griefs we may have, God is still our healer. And whatever ways we fell short of who we hoped to be, God is still our merciful deliverer. And whatever we have learned or not learned from this past year, God is still leading us into our new future.
And in God, we will find our footing along the path and rest along the way.
Breathe. The Spirit is with you. Keep walking, people of God. I am thankful, though we have trekked through valleys, that we are companions as we follow our Savior’s lead.