In our worship series, Braving the Wilderness, we have been following the Israelites through their journey in the wilderness. Each weekly story finds them in a new campsite facing issues of faith and survival. I am sensing that we have arrived at a new campsite during this time of COVID-19 and social justice. I have a couple of observations concerning our new campsite.
First, many of us have come to a place of COVID fatigue. So any new reminders that we are still in a pandemic with consequences to our public health is met with a variety of reactions. It is also easy to find ourselves relaxing as our experience of the Covid spread in Wise County is different than that of our neighbors to the south in the metropolitan areas. However, Jason Wren, President/CEO of Wise Health Systems, has reminded us that Wise County also has experienced a spike in cases. Fortunately, he reports that we are “still in good shape locally with respect to hospital capacity.” However, he reminds us to Stay the Course — continue to wear a mask, wash your hands frequently, practice social distancing, and avoid large gatherings. That is a good reminder that we all work together to do our part.
Secondly, the Black Lives Matter and other group protests and rallies have stirred the hearts of many of you, and you have asked for meaningful discussion on racism in our nation. These conversations are acutely necessary right now. At the leadership and urging of our Bishop, Pastor Ricky and I will be pulling together a list of resources to help navigate these dialogs. These resources will be available on our website. Watch the weekly email for a link. And of course, Pastor Ricky and I are always available to help.
Finally, I pray for this church every day. I see the Holy Spirit at work in new and exciting ways as we journey in this wilderness time. I see God standing on the rock before us, leading us. (Exodus 17:6). It is important that we Stay the Course and lean into God.
See you Sunday!