Meditation Monday, July 5, 2021

“Don’t be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.”

Romans 12:21

I go to the beach for solace and renewal. On one such excursion, I was blessed to watch two young children building the “best sandcastle EVER!” They scooped sand to form bridges, dribbled watery sand for the towers, and were intent on making a complicated moat using twigs, shells, moss, and anything else they could find. So intent were they on their creation, they failed to see the tide creeping up behind them. When a wave flattened their castle, their joy turned to howls of disbelief and sadness. It was hard to watch. But what has forever been burned into my memory is how they ran to their father for comfort, and after shedding a few intense tears, they picked up their buckets and found a place to start over. 

We have all experienced high tides that demolish the sandcastles we filled with hopes and dreams. Sometimes we find it hard to let go of the “best sandcastle EVER.” It is particularly hard when the waves crash, and a church ritual or program that at one time brought great joy to the congregation is no longer relevant. At those times, even though it is not easy, we need to pick up our buckets and move to a new place. It is easy to be undone by the waves of change brought into our congregation by COVID; to fear what the future might hold. Yes, we know that out of consideration for those who are frail we must keep our masks on. We grieve that we are unable to hold the hands of those we love or hug during the passing of the peace; we were not created to be little islands in a sea of people. We mourn the loss of members and the smaller numbers of children who attend faith formation. So, now what? We pray.

Ever Gracious God, 

Open us all to new ways of doing things. Help us to pick up our buckets and listen to you as we explore new ways to connect with each other. Give us a trusting heart to know that you are there with us every step of the way. Help us, Lord, to create space and give grace to those around us whose opinions may differ so that we may love each other as you have loved us. Remind us of what is truly essential and embrace the changes we may not personally welcome out of respect and love for each other.