I’ve long ago lost track of how many days we’ve been living with, and in, the Coronavirus Pandemic or how long it’s been since we last gathered for worship.
I think in real-time, at least since we received the news of the seriousness of the Coronavirus, it’s been many weeks now and I think almost two months since we last held a church service in our Sanctuary.
During that time, as we all know, we’ve been living in a world and reality unlike one we have ever known or imagined, even in our wildest dreams and nightmares.
A world where contracting a potentially fatal virus has left us living in fear and doing all we can to ward it off by practicing social distancing, wearing masks and gloves and living in isolation – even from our family members and closest friends.
Even the strongest among us, the most most optimistic, and the most faithful are tried by these surreal and apocalyptic times. Part of this is not just because of the repetitive nature of each day, but also because we don’t really know when “these days” will end.
When will there be light at the end of the tunnel?
When will things get back to “normal” again, at least a “new normal”?
Most recently we have been given some answers to these heartfelt questions by President Trump, the doctors that make up his Coronavirus task force and our state governors and local officials.
It comes in three words: “Opening things up”, a phrase indicating the desire, need and practice to return to some semblance of normalcy; this return being determined in different ways in different states and counties.
In places where the virus has infected the least number or people or where the numbers of the ill and dead has flattened, things and places will open up faster, like beaches and some businesses such as restaurants and even churches.
In time we will see the physical effects of this reopening and how safe it has been, but we know that just the words “opening things up” will, and are, having a positive psychological effect on many of us as we breath a sigh of cautious optimism and say “It’s about time, finally this long nightmare is on the way to being over.”
The words “opening things up” can be three of the most hopeful words we have heard since we have been living with the Coronavirus Pandemic. They are a harbinger of a more free, healthy, social and joyous life that is not just a dream, but something that can, and is, becoming a reality. It is good news we all need to hear and believe in.
The not so good news for us who live in Connecticut is that because our state is in one of “hot spots” of the virus, we might open up slower than other states where this has not been the case.
But spring is finally here in New England and in Connecticut. The last cold days of the season and their often accompanying clouds and rain are giving way to warmer weather and sunshine.
With it I find myself singing these lyrics and tune to the Beatles song, “Here Comes the Sun”, written by George Harrison:
“Here comes the sun, here comes the sun, it’s alright. Little darling, it’s been a long, cold lonely winter, little darling it feels like years since it’s been here. Little darling the smiles returning to their faces….little darling it feels like the ice is slowly melting…here comes the sun.”
This past Sunday we had one of the nicest days we have had in a long time. After days of cool weather, dark gray skies, and rain, the temperatures rose to over 80 degrees, skies cleared, and the sun shined brightly.
Finally, we could open our windows and doors and venture outside to enjoy Gods good earth. And, go outside we did, streams of us…some walking, jogging, or roller skating with our families, animals and friends (hopefully at a safe enough distance).
Others of us kayaking down the white water Farmington River or fly fishing in its waters or simply taking a drive through the countryside.
Let’s pray that opening up again is our salvation, something that will signal our opening up into more honest, caring and compassionate human beings and Christians.