March 25, 2020
The Feast of the Annunciation MMXX
Grace to you and peace in the name of the Triune God, who was and is and is to come. Amen.
I’m writing to you on the evening of the Feast of the Annunciation, when we commemorate the visit of the angel Gabriel to Mary. Through Gabriel, God announces to Mary God’s intention to come into the world directly through her. It has always struck me as wonderfully appropriate that in the middle of Lent, a time of fasting, reflection, and yearning for Easter, we are reminded that without the incarnation, there can be no resurrection. We are reminded that our ultimate hope is based on God’s faithfulness, not on our own faithfulness or our own deeds. This is especially important this year.
In the last few weeks, the situation of our country and our community has been greatly in flux. We have been physical-distancing, limiting our gatherings, and shutting down many operations of our lives. Many of us have turned toward places of comfort, for me cooking and computers. We are in a state of flux, not quite sure what tomorrow will bring but knowing that something is coming, something that is outside of our control.
Into our flux and anxiety, God has for us the same message the angel had for Mary: Do not be afraid. This does not mean that we should not be concerned, for ourselves and for others. We are rightly concerned about what might be coming. And yet, we know that God is here, walking with us as the body of Christ, even while we are separated physically. As Bishop Eaton has said: “We are church. We are Lutheran. We are church together. We are church for the sake of the world.” On this day, we remember that we are church together, even when we are not together. This afternoon, the Messiah Council met and discussed how to adapt to being church together in this time of being physically apart. Read about this here.
Let us fix our hearts on the promise of the incarnation—the very real presence of God in the world. Let us continue to live as the body of Christ, caring for each other and showing the love of God that knows no bounds to the world.
Peace in Christ,
The Rev. D. Lowell Chilton, Pastor
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