Remember when we all thought covid would be "over" by the fall, and we'd have returned to "normal" worship? How we thought that when I returned from sabbatical, that everything would be "regular" again? How we imagined our future turning out differently? Ha ha ha! Indeed, I never thought that I'd return from sabbatical to find hospitals more stretched than they were last winter, before vaccines. Or that I'd be ordering KN95 masks. Or that my daughter's school would give up on doing contact tracing because there are simply too many cases.
But here we are. Life is not predictable, although we like to cling to the belief that it is. Plans are easily dashed, although we like to think that we have control. Change and risk and loss and surprise are part of life, and we have all received a lesson in resilience that none of us wanted.
But here we are. In January. I n winter. In the Epiphany season. We are in that magical time when the world is still cold and dark and bare, and yet the light is increasing. Every day adds noticeably more sunlight! Each Sunday we celebrate the further revealing of the gospel. The manifestation of God continues, always, all around: in bright pools of ice, in sunlight slanting through windows, in voices of hope and justice. Even the cold snow can reflect the light for us. Look for it! -- and for those signs of goodness and promise