Pastor’s Paragraph for January 10, 2021

Pastor's Paragraph for January 10, 2021

JANUARY 10, 2021

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Last month our son learned to read. Now he thinks he’s been “reading” for years, but his books were pretty simple up until about a month ago. The pictures gave away the words below, and the plots were rather lacking. The typical book he could read sounded more like a list. “I like apples. I like oranges. I like bananas. I DO NOT like peas. Yuck! The end.”

 

But last month, something clicked, and all of a sudden, he was able to read real books, books with more words than pictures, books with chapters and an actual plot. I don’t know exactly what changed, but we are celebrating. Both my husband and I love to read, so to mark this accomplishment, we bought our son many beginner reader chapter books for Christmas. We bought him so many books that we had to wrap them in piles.

 

I share this with you because I didn’t have much faith that our son’s reading would take off this year. It’s been a challenging school year, with virtual school and all remote learning. I didn’t think real progress was possible. But I was wrong. Despite all of the obstacles of the year, kids are still learning. 

 

I truly believe that God works through the hands and patience of teachers. I’ve been blown away by how teachers and students have been able to adapt to virtual school. I have been reminded repeatedly this school year that God is at work even when we can’t see the progress. I am reminded we need to hand our concerns over to God and trust that God is creating. I can’t help but wonder what lessons we are learning right now that we are unaware of. What growth is happening? How are we changing as individuals, as a church, and as a society? While writing this, I began to hum “Hymn of Promise” and was reminded of the hope God promises us. 

 

I want to encourage you when you are having a rough “COVID Day,” as I like to call them, to take a step back, take a deep breath, and look for signs of God’s work and love around you. Maybe it’s a Christmas card that arrived a month late and yet was perfectly timed. Maybe it’s watching your kids grow and thrive despite the challenges. Maybe it’s creating new connections in a time when forming new connections didn’t seem possible. But take that moment to set aside the obstacles and challenges we are faced with, breathe, and know that God is at work.

Jenny Streeter

Rev. Jennifer Streeter

Pastor of Discipleship

Hymn of Promise (UMC Hymnal #707)

In the bulb there is a flower; 

in the seed, an apple tree;

In cocoons, a hidden promise: 

butterflies will soon be free!

In the cold and snow of winter 

there’s a spring that waits to be,

Unrevealed until its season, 

something God alone can see.

 

There’s a song in every silence, 

seeking word and melody;

There’s a dawn in every darkness, 

bringing hope to you and me.

From the past will come the future; 

what it holds, a mystery,

Unrevealed until its season, 

something God alone can see.

 

In our end is our beginning; 

in our time, infinity;

In our doubt there is believing; 

in our life, eternity,

In our death, a resurrection; 

at the last, a victory,

Unrevealed until its season, 

something God alone can see.