Before Covid 19 and social distancing and quarantine, each Monday morning I did three things.
1. I got up super early (around 4:30am) to pray, study, and plan out the service for the coming Sunday. I needed a few hours for this process and lots of silence; the early morning is my favorite and most productive time of day.
2. At around 8:30 AM my 5 year old granddaughter Lucy (pictured left) was dropped off, and after spending a few moments with my son in law catching up, Lucy and I would go through our own morning routine. This usually included making some type of letter or animal shaped pancakes, juicing oranges or apples, doing her "schoolwork"(Highlights puzzle magazine), dance, (Lucy is a born performer) and play.
3. At 9 AM in the midst of the Lucy routine, we would tune in to what Lucy calls, my "fish friends' radio show. The name of the show is "Urban Hymns"(1) which is broadcast out of Wales, UK (hence the 'fish" link for Lucy) The show highlights secular music for use in worship. The hosts (pictured right) are The Rev. Alexier Mayes, Vicar St David's & St Mark's Connah's Quay, and her husband George Bearwood, soon to be ordained to ministry as well. George holds extensive knowledge of music of a wide variety of genres which he shares generously (and occasionally snarkily) with the listener. opening up possibilities for theological reflection and revelation. Alex brings lively and joy-filled conversation, laughter that is contagious, and a passion for Christ that is evident throughout.
By 11 AM the show is over, the kitchen is cleaned up, the bulletin for Sunday is (mostly) finished, and Lucy is ready to be picked up by her Mom. One last hug, a wave, and a smile, and my Monday moved along.
Now my Monday's look somewhat different. I sleep a little later. I pray, study, and plan a little longer. Planning services online is a much more intricate process requiring more time and more coordination. Howard (our Music Minister) and I have a standing meeting Monday afternoons to plan music for the service, so that he can start practicing and recording earlier in the week (which helps Dave- the video artist). This week's Monday morning included phone calls to three of you (gosh it is good to connect) and thinking about how to expand our small group system.
Alex and George (my fish friends) are also in quarantine but thankfully have figured out a way to still broadcast the show so when I can, I still tune in. However, more often than not these days I listen during the week (they upload each show to the mix-cloud). The show has undergone some transitions as well as they adjust to life while in quarantine, but still fills me with joy and inspiration each week.
Monday's are not the same. Most things during this crisis are not the same. We've all shifted and shoved and shaved our schedules in some way to settle into this space of time. And some things are easier to settle into than others.
Yet, when I think about It, God hasn't shifted, shoved, or shaved at all. God hasn't settled Into a space that she hadn't occupied before. God didn't have to adjust to quarantine, or adapt to anything he hadn't been doing already. Before Covid 19, God was with us, in everything we do, everywhere we are; in Monday Mornings with Lucy, Alex, and George, in prayer time and planning time. And God is here with us now.
Sometimes It takes a while to settle Into the right now, and even longer to notice the God who promises to never leave us, actually has not gone anywhere. Perhaps its why the scriptures tell us to "have joy in all circumstances" and "pray without ceasing' and "be grateful at all times." We are surrounded by the love and goodness of the Eternal Presence, right now. God is here! And no matter how many changes and shifts we experience, God's care for us and presence with us never changes. Thanks be to God!
Peace to you In your Morning Meditation.
(1) Find out how you too can enjoy Urban Hymns as well as George's radio show Church of Noise (with slightly more, um.. intense music offerings) by going to their FaceBook Page