Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Starting on Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 10:00 am Saint Stephen Lutheran Church resumed in-person worship (again). We had longed for this moment for so many months. Our hearts had anxiously awaited this moment. We had longed to gather together to worship our Lord and simply to see one another again.
And now it is here. We are back together at long last! We are experiencing the joys and the blessings of reunions! We are worshiping our Lord in our sanctuary. We are planning VBS and Sunday school and social gatherings and outreach in God's name to our neighbors.
Thanks to the incredible - glorious blessing of Covid-19 vaccines, we can safely gather together again after so many months of waiting and praying and hoping and longing and watching and wondering and worrying. (I hope I never forget the feelings of thanksgiving I felt when I received my Covid-19 vaccinations. I pray I remain grateful and thankful for this awesome blessing.)
We are blessed. We are really and truly blessed. We are blessed to be together again. We are blessed to be able to gather together for in-person worship. We are blessed by community and one another. We are blessed by God's abundant grace - love - and mercy!
I encourage you to consider God's blessings to you.
Yes - this year has been painful and hard and filled with challenges. Yes - there have been a multitude of trials and tribulations and disappointments - but there have been blessings too. God has not abandoned us. God has been present with us. God has continued to bless us and walk with us.
Where have you seen God in your life? Where do you see God today? How is God active and present in your life?