Since the first three months of the year, when the world changed dramatically because of COVID-19, there has been a lot of loss. As of this week 822,000 have died from the virus worldwide, 122,000 of those in our own country and 2000 in Alabama. People have lost jobs, lost income, lost freedoms and, in some cases, their way of life. Grief is the natural expression of loss, and it occurs not only when we have experienced the death of a person, but the death or removal of anything important. During September, we will explore grief, healthy grief, and share resources for grief with each other. Our sermons will focus on grief, and there will be a packet mailed with helps for grief. Not everyone is experiencing loss at this time, but many are; and I know our congregation is full of people who have. Knowing how to support and love each other during this time is important.
Often when something is lost, there are gains somewhere else, or for somebody else. Many white people have gained sight and understanding of the injustices against people of color over the past several months. These are not new, and they come as the expense of more Black people losing their lives in acts of police brutality. As we look to gain justice for people of color, there are benefits and matters in life that have to change and even be sacrificed for white people. That’s the only way the scales of justice will be balanced. And there may be grief in that – but it’s a grief we must embrace and work through, so that God’s Kingdom can we realized.
When we look back on 2020, I hope we do more than shudder. I hope we can see how we’ve grown and improved our way of life in forging a new normal. That we have some gains in strength and resilience, in using our creativity and intelligence, in reaching out in compassion. I also pray, that very soon, we have mass healing in the hurt this world is incurring and inflicting on each other. Amen.