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Face to Face

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Almost from the beginning of the pandemic, I’ve noticed that our belief in the existence of the Coronavirus, something we cannot see, has engendered a tumultuous, world-changing collective response.

Our fear has driven us.

We have been afraid of what will happen if we don’t follow the rules, if we venture out too much or don’t wash our hands enough.

Photo via Unsplash.

We are now afraid that public places, like stores and restaurants, are welcoming us back too soon. We are afraid that some people aren’t following the same habits we have learned to accept over the last few months.

We are afraid that their carelessness will cause a second wave of lockdown, virus illness, and death.

We are afraid that we will never feel safe, let alone enjoy the pleasures of a pre-pandemic world whose existence feels impossibly far past.

We are afraid we cannot control what is out of our control; this fear is its own pandemic.

And yet, here we are, the Church that tomorrow will celebrate Trinity Sunday, the union of God with Us as Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer.

In this, these words from I Peter are quite telling: “Although you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy.”  I Peter 1:8

None of us, to my knowledge, have actually seen God, except for those who personally met Jesus.  But we believe, and we love him.  The joy may be a harder grasp right now, and that is okay.  Stay with the knowing that you have trusted what you have never seen for a long time.  And here you stand.

That’s a lot.

Being willing and able to do so much to adapt to a pandemic world out of care for ourselves and each other has been a tremendous act of faith for those of us who believe in God, no matter what our religious leanings.  You and I cannot control this virus, and we really can’t control other people’s behavior.

We can take this creative, redemptive, and sustainable approach to a faithful life and apply it in the full context of living more publicly again.  It is challenging.

And yet, here is where the rejoicing comes in.

Photo via Unsplash.

It is indescribably joyful to see an old friend again after a long separation, isn’t it?  In between visits, the memories can rewind themselves over and over; and yet, there is no greater joy than not only seeing, but feeling someone’s immediate presence with your own.

Am I right?

That is what you and I are aiming for; each moment, each day we move toward being able to greet each other with more than safe distances and elevated voices.  We aren’t able to see others in the same way we once did, and as we have never actually seen God in any form.

And yet, we believe the day is coming when we will see each other, face to face, in joy.

About the Author

Photo of The Rev. Cory L. Kemp.

Photo courtesy of The Rev. Cory L. Kemp.

The Rev. Cory L. Kemp is founder and faith mentor with Broad Plains Faith Coaching. Cory, employing her signature Handcrafted Faith program, supports ordained and lay women leaders in visualizing, understanding and strengthening their beliefs, so that they may know, love and serve God and their communities with generosity, wisdom, and joy.

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