Never Dismissed

Pastoral Reflections

Every Sunday as we conclude our time together in worship, we are sent with these or similar words: “Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.” With all that has been happening around the COVID-19 and our inability to gather together in a single space, those words have taken on a more poignant meaning for me.

Our worship never really comes to an end. We are sent to our homes and into the world in His company and power. Never dismissed from the Lord’s presence!

As followers of Christ, our faith is constantly intersecting with the realities of life, and many times with the harsh realities of a broken world. And, this is one of those intersections. Our faith in Christ is being lived out within the reality of a pandemic with all its fallouts.

We are Christians who are parents. Christians who are workers. Christians who are ageing. Christians who are students, medical workers, delivery drivers, and so forth. We all find ourselves dealing with the effects of the present crisis in some way or the other.

Over this time there have been those whose jobs and incomes have been affected; the most vulnerable among us – either on account of age or compromised immunity; those highly exposed by the nature of their jobs; those whose relatives and acquaintances may have been affected by the virus; those of us for whom this period of compulsory isolation may exacerbate their emotional stress and possibly depression; and more.

In times like these, I want to call to our minds the words of Paul as he recalled some difficult moments in his own life and journey:
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. (2Cor. 4:7-11)

When life throws a curve at us, we acknowledge our finitude, yet rejoice in the power of the infinite God at work in us. And that infinite power at work will bring us through even this season.

In such times, what sets us apart is not that we somehow lack the capacity to feel fear. No. We are clay. But it is that we immediately remember the power of the Spirit’s presence with us. We know His power, we know His nature, we know His character. He is faithful and that knowledge shapes our response.

I pray for you each day. Let us raise each other up in prayers daily.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He cause His face to shine upon you and be merciful to you, and give you His peace. Amen.
Donald Nwankwo
The Light of Christ Anglican Church
4000 W. Yale Ave.
Denver, CO 80219