March 25, 2020
Good morning dear Saints of the Church,
What are the burdens you have been carrying during the last weeks? Whose burdens are you taking upon yourself?
The last days have felt like a month for me. And it’s only Wednesday. So much change, so much information. So many thoughts about how everyone is coping with the new situation. So much felt responsibility for you as my congregation, for my family, friends.
There are different ways to react to times like this. Some people just cuddle up at home and try to survive by cooking soul food and reading a good book. Others find rest in knowledge and facts. My coping strategy has always been activism and reflection. The more I carry the less I get overwhelmed. It helps me to stay sane (I guess, that’s one reason why you are receiving this Email :)). It helps me to focus on others and their needs. In case, you wondered why I became a pastor.
A Bible verse comes to mind when reflecting on activism for sanity. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6,2) This sounds like an instruction to get emotionally overworked. But only, if one stops reading here. Further on, Paul writes: 3 For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves. 4 All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbor’s work, will become a cause for pride. 5 For all must carry their own loads.
Bear one another’s burdens. … For all must carry their own loads. Sounds like a contradiction? These days I hear it as a call and a warning. Bear one another’s burdens! Help each other, check-in on each other, pray for each other. Reach out. But know that everything you bear becomes part of your own load for a while. Be wise, know your capacities. And most importantly: Don’t think you are more important than you are. Don’t deceive yourself.
During the last days, I have been calling people in our congregation and will continue doing so. It was wonderful to hear that you are coping pretty well, that many of you know exactly where to get what you need emotionally and spiritually. I feel truly blessed to be your pastor, what a gift in times like this. Calling you also showed me in a humble way that I am not as important as I think. You told me what you needed from me: prayers and messages. And you let me know that I and my family are in your prayers. That’s huge.
That’s how we bear one another’s burdens while carrying our own loads. We bear our burdens by loading them onto Christ. By finding time to be quiet and pray. By focusing on ourselves, our neighbors and God. By lifting up our concerns and gratitude to the one who carries it all at the Cross. Thanks be to God.
Be healthy and blessed, your Pr Tia!