By Reverend Richard Delrome on his 60th Anniversary of entry into the Order of Ministry in the United Church of Canada, June 1, at Sherbrooke, Quebec.
The sudden realization that it is already 60 years since my ordination has prompted me to ask what I might share in the time of this present pandemic with a congregation should I be in active Ministry.
The results are:
We are taught three things: 1. Something about life and ourselves; 2. Something about faith; and 3. Something about God.
LIFE AND OURSELVES
We are reminded that human beings are at times shown to be fearful people and have every right to be so by the very nature of existence itself. Put bluntly, we are all born to die and asked spiritually to make something out of that period between our point of entry (birth) and our point of exit (death) - what we sometimes call in Christianity ‘Working out our Salvation’.
Life with COVID 19 is no different than it has ever been in terms of the threat that life itself poses; this particular unexpected circumstance merely shocks us into the realization that ‘what is, is’ and forces us to grapple with that painful reality in innovative ways.
Faith basically means trust ... acknowledgement that life, despite all, is ultimately good. So how could COVID 19 not help reassure us of that fact by virtue of its ‘badness’ because its dark side can only be seen in the light of its opposite, i.e. the ‘good’ side - just as resurrection is the positive commentary on crucifixion.
Yes God has always had something to say about masks - asking us to show transparency to others by becoming ‘unmasked‘, thereby showing our true selves as love. Jesus is God unmasked, and however we understand the seeming paradoxical nature of Deity, we are called to live that paradox all the more passionately in these difficult times.
Rev. Richard DeLorme, Vancouver, B.C. (With permission, his love and good memories)