I imagine that, like me, the news has you exhausted. We seem to be living through a time of extraordinary upheaval. The headlines assault us with horrific things, daily: the violence and suffering in Ukraine, revelations about January 6, new covid variants, and what we don't often hear about: ongoing violence in Israel, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Yemen... It is too much for our hearts and minds to hold. I think often of an essay by Lutheran pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber, "If you can't take in anymore, there's a reason" in which she writes:
"I just do not think our psyches were developed to hold, feel and respond to everything coming at them right now; every tragedy, injustice, sorrow and natural disaster happening to every human across the entire planet, in real time every minute of every day. The human heart and spirit were developed to be able to hold, feel and respond to any tragedy, injustice, sorrow or natural disaster that was happening IN OUR VILLAGE. So my emotional circuit breaker keeps overloading because the hardware was built for an older time."
Is your emotional circuit breaker overloading? Mine sure is. So it's okay to not watch every harrowing video of Ukrainian refugees. It's okay to turn off CNN. It's okay to breathe deeply and eat a chocolate chip cookie. Our hearts and minds need a break. We need rest. We need communion.
This Sunday we will gather to share in the Sacrament of Holy Communion, which is kind of a weird thing, when you think about it. Eat a tiny chunk of bread? Sip a teensy bit of juice? What's that supposed to do?! But like all rituals - whether birthday cake or sending flowers or giving a ring - simple things become imbued with sacred meaning and draw us into a deeper place than the thing itself. This Sunday, our hearts and minds will be fed, and we will be reminded that all of humanity is beloved and holy and connected. We will be reminded that God embraces all of creation, and every place of pain and suffering is attended by angels.
So join us this Sunday to eat a little bread and sip a little juice. In a time of overloaded circuits, grief, and overwhelm, it might just feed your heart and mind with peace.