“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.” Luke 2:29-32
Dear Redeemer Family:
The verses above are from Simeon’s Song (the Nunc Dimittis), which Simeon cried out in the Temple when Joseph and Mary brought the infant Jesus there for his Presentation. February 2nd is The Presentation of Our Lord Day. It falls 40 days after Christmas. The verses are a prophecy. And they also contain a very important theme for this season. That theme is light! As we will enter the “darkness” of the Season of Lent this month, we often point to the light of the Transfiguration to give us light to last the 40 days of that season. Well, actually, we have Christ’s light with us always, from the Star of Bethlehem to the glory of the Resurrection! Christ is always with us, period.
This year, this year of the coronavirus, that is especially poignant. We are approaching now a year of social distancing, masks, hand washing, quarantining, etc. Our lives have been turned upside down. As I write this, nationally, there have been just over 400,000 deaths in this year, 164 of them in our county. The United States suffered 418,000 deaths from World War II, in four years. This has been a terrible experience. People are now suffering from what they are calling “Covid fatigue.” We pray for things to return to normal. And, I would like to thank our members who have worked tirelessly to try to keep our worship services as “normal” as possible, if virtually. Thank you to Charles and Stephanie Roop who plan and record the services, Ralph and Joyce Spiker for their leading of liturgical parts, and our numerous readers and “volunteers” who sit very far apart from each other to help lead the responsive portions of the liturgy for us. They have been a blessing during this trying time.
And, we now have light at the end of this very long tunnel. The vaccines are now becoming available. I encourage everyone to sign up for them. I have already received the first shot through the hospital, since I have volunteered as an On Call Chaplain there for 30 years; I am considered a health care provider (I find that strange in a way). But, I encourage you all to register for your vaccinations at jeffcohealth.org . They will then contact you as to when you may receive your inoculations. There is a light shining through our global darkness!
I hope that all are staying safe and sound at the present time. I also hope that very soon we will be able to once more gather together to join in worship together and continue the work of being the Church of Christ here on earth. Until then, pray for each other, take care of each other as well as you are permitted. And pray for our overloaded health care worker and our “essential” workers who are striving to keep us going in this crisis. There is “a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”