November 13, 2020 | by Gregg DeMey
As the holidays fast approach, the usual feeling of lightness that accompanies is strangely absent for me. This is true despite having peaceably come through a hotly contested election cycle and the hopeful announcement that a 90% effective vaccine is on the horizon.
Most of us have now had the experience that COVID-19 is close at hand. It’s in our friend-, family-, and work-circles, and many of us have already dealt with the consequences of a positive diagnosis. There is a collective weariness that can be hard to climb over.
I keep asking myself, “What can we do to be the ‘light of the world’ in the midst of this dismal age?" My answer is quite simple: We’ll continue to serve and we’ll continue to worship the God who loves us.
We’ll continue to faithfully worship each Resurrection Day as the church has done for 2,000 years. We have had exactly zero cases of known transmission at Elmhurst CRC, even while we’ve reopened virtually all of our ministries and enjoyed both outdoor and now indoor corporate worship which began all the way back in early July. Even as local rates of positivity have risen, our commitment to common sense practices (advanced registration, temperature taking, mask wearing, social distancing, diligent cleaning) has allowed us to continue meeting together effectively.
As the weather inevitably turns colder, the vast majority of our worship experiences will move indoors for the winter. Here are a few ways to raise our joy and maintain our good track record:
Grace is a two-way street. Our capacity to give and receive it go hand in hand. It’s no accident that an annual outpouring of gifts and offerings are made around Elmhurst CRC coinciding with the celebration of God’s great gift to us in Jesus. We have Thanksgiving Offerings. We have “Glimmers of Hope” trees to support causes near and far. We make year-end gifts to the church itself. But it’s not just about the giving. It’s also about stretching our ability to receive the grace our hearts long to receive.
My prayer for our community this year is that all this giving will not be obligatory and perfunctory, but rather a powerful spiritual act that opens us to receive the more amazing grace that only God can give. May this be truly yours this holiday season,