January 3, 2021: Caffeine or Community?

Second Sunday after Christmas

I took a walk the other day, planning to grab some coffee to sustain me through the afternoon. These days I wear a mask when I’m outside and practice social distancing in an effort to care for others and myself. It’s a lot to manage all at once, especially when I want to stay grounded: clearing my thoughts and feeling my feet against the pavement. But nowadays it’s hard to let go and just be, trying instead so that I don’t get too close to anyone. Sometimes, I pretend that the distance doesn’t affect me. Deep down, I know that it does.

As I wandered along the sidewalk, I was surprised to run into someone I hadn’t seen for many months. A conversation ensued and needless to say, I lost track of the time. The coffee shop was closed when I finally arrived. The hours are different now and I couldn’t remember. I walked back home in silence. No coffee. Bummer. But I was grateful. If I had really wanted to, I could have made it to the coffee shop on time, but I would have missed the chance to reconnect with someone else. And what is it that we really need to sustain us in these days? Caffeine or community?

The writer of John’s Gospel reminds us to be on the lookout for human connection. The God of love appears in the flesh and blood and bones of life: love that makes a home and shelters us, love that lights the way for all people, love that shines in the lives and in the faces of those whom we meet along the street on an ordinary day. How many times am I in such a hurry that I’m not even paying attention?

 

Andrew Heil, associate pastor, Home Moravian Church

Winston-Salem, North Carolina