Home Forums Noticings… 200422 – Forty

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    April 22, 2020

    I learned something new this week. I learned that the word ‘quarantine’ is derived from a word that means ‘forty days’. (If you speak French you can see the word quarante in there.) It grew out of a period of isolation that ship’s crews were required to undergo before they could go ashore. They determined that forty days was long enough to ensure a person wasn’t ill and wouldn’t spread disease after travelling. We’ve all become intimately familiar with this concept in these last few weeks.

    Immediately upon learning that quarantine meant forty my mind made the biblical connection. You’ve probably heard me preach this on several occasions. The biblical number of transformation is, you guessed it, forty. Noah had rain for forty days and forty nights. Moses got the Ten Commandments during a forty day stint on a mountain. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness after his baptism for forty days. These weren’t examples of quarantine, of course, but they are all examples of transformational experiences. After enduring a challenge for those forty days you come out the other side a new person.

    That got me thinking. If you start counting from the day our church Council first decided to close our building and suspend in-person gatherings then today is day thirty-seven of our ‘quarantine’. That means Saturday will be day forty. The biblical time of transformation will have been completed. Will we emerge transformed on Sunday morning? Resurrected maybe? What might that look like? It’s not like we’ll suddenly be able to gather together in-person again. That could take months (hopefully not forty)!

    Maybe what will change is our outlook? Maybe we’ll realize that we’ve been carrying a heavy burden for forty days – the burden of figuring out how to stay connected as the body of Christ known as Faith United, and figuring out how to do church differently – and maybe we’ll see that after forty days of making it work well that we can lay that burden down, and trust that we’ve come through the crisis and trauma part (mostly) and we know that we’ll be ok, that we can do this. It’s certainly not our preference, but we can do this! And then maybe we’ll start to see some blessings in all this, and we’ll realize that together we’ve been the church all along, no matter what shape it takes. Our forty days are about up. What are you noticing?

    Ways To Keep Connected

    The Porch Online ~ Mondays @ 10:30 AM – This weekly gathering looks at the upcoming Sunday’s readings and will give participants a chance to ask questions and learn more background about the texts and get thinking about what they might hear the following Sunday. Join The Porch via Zoom.

    Worship Wednesday ~ Wednesdays @ 7:15 PM – Join us for Worship Wednesday on YouTube. 15 minutes of music and prayer. All are invited!

    Coffee and Conversation ~ Thursdays @ 9:30 AM – Join us for coffee and conversation, each Thursday at 9:30 am. Social, drop in, no agenda. We will gather via Zoom.
    Online Worship ~ Sundays @ 10:30 AM
    To tune in, go to YouTube and search for “faithunitedchurch” – or click the YouTube link on our webpage. You may also click this link, and it will redirect you to our YouTube page.

    Rev. Larry will lead worship on Sunday mornings at our usual 10:30 am time, with music support, and with minimal tech support to allow for streaming. All previous Sunday worship services are available on-demand, and you can watch any time!

    No congregation will be present – but we hope you’ll join us online. And you can even worship in your jammies if you wish!

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