Fall is generally characterized by the leaves changing color, the days getting shorter and the temperature starting to dip. At its onset we experience a sense of nostalgia looking back at the fleeting days of summer. Our summer memories usually include vacations, family outings and days spent lying around soaking up the sun and enjoying the company of family and friends. We reflect on how summer allows us to refresh and renew our spirit, which sustains us for the rest of the year.
However, this fall we are not looking back with fondness or reflecting on the highlights of our spring and summer. COVID-19 has changed our shared, lived reality dramatically. This fall is characterized by face masks, small gatherings, modified school openings and hot spots. A very different scenario from the fall of 2019.
The opening of school, which is usually met with eager anticipation and excitement by parents and teachers, has now become a volatile topic of conversation that continues to cause division and stress. The question of being in school or learning virtually has permeated everyone’s life. That topic is coupled with the rising number of people infected, as is the rising death toll.
Those topics in conjunction with the social justice issues centering on racial prejudice, currently make our world an uneasy place.
Collectively, this has left us all feeling untethered, stressed out, depressed, and looking for ways to feel good about ourselves and the circumstances in our world. As followers of Christ, we are the fortunate ones. Amid all the difficult changes and pain and suffering that is our current reality, we have hope for tomorrow. We have the love and mercy of Jesus Christ to help us navigate the uncharted waters that lie ahead. As human beings we live in a world where unrest and unhappiness are a constant and it seems to be our “new normal.”
When faced with all of that we have two choices; let despair and hopelessness take over or be the light of Christ in our world. The problems that surround us daily are an opportunity for us to share Christ’s love and the hope our faith affords us with others. This is OUR TIME! It’s time for us to use the gifts and talents we have been blessed with to make the world a better place. The only way that that can happen is one person at a time. We need to bring our faith to the world through outreach, prayer and random acts of kindness.
All the great moments in the history of our Church have come at times when there is a crisis. The Church has survived for thousands of years because God always brings good out of evil and order out of chaos. Our current circumstances are no exception to that rule. We need to look within ourselves as individuals and recognize how God is calling us to make the world a better place, right now, in the fall of 2020. Then we need to go out and do it.
By Andrea Hoisl, Director, Office of Faith Events