Today’s Word from Pastor Tom Kidd…

“Thank God this is over!”

So said a golf mate in his summation of 2020. The year started with such promise, such symmetry, “20-20.” Like the good news of an eye exam, the year began so easily rolling off the tongue… “Twentyyyy – Twentyyy!, Yayyyy!” While “2021” does not have near the iambic pentameter rhythm to it, I suspect we are all only too grateful it is at hand. “Hope springs eternal,” wrote Alexander Pope in his poem, “An Essay on Man.” Do we dare to hope again for a new year? For new possibilities?

I confess to a slightly melancholy mood these days. The excitement of Christmas has passed (actually, for most of us living socially-distanced it never got amped up), light is incrementally growing but winter is clearly upon us, and the Christmas credit card bill was able to find its way through the mail to us even though an anticipated Christmas gift got lost in the system two weeks ago (two Connecticut postings to Jackson, Mississippi to Anchorage, Alaska to Seattle to Whidbey). Thank you, Jesus. Maybe there are some things we dare not hope for.

But then across my mental TV screen I see Sonny and Cher singing, “I’ve Got You Babe” which has absolutely no relevance to this moment other than to remind me I better check if I have confused my meds? And update my music playlist.

Phew, okay, that was close. Back to the task at hand… which is? Oh yeah, to write something spiritually uplifting, inspiring and relevant. Which, given our current national pandemic, unemployment, political and food insecure realities on this last day of 2020, is not without its challenges. Which can all make for a rather depressing blog. How am I doing? Are you feeling spiritually uplifted up yet?

Don’t quit on me yet, I’ve got a story.

Picture a brutally cold January winter night along the mighty Mississippi River, mid 1870s. A lone traveler has been slogging through the snow on foot and is in danger of succumbing to the elements. Across the river he can see lights but between himself and his hope for rescue is a dangerous frozen river. He fearfully and gingerly creeps out on the ice on his hands and knees, unsure if at any moment the ice will give way.
Somewhere half way across he hears singing. Coming up behind him is a gentleman in a loaded coal wagon being pulled by a team of mules, singing as if he has not a care in the world, absolutely confident in that which supports him.

The difference between the two is stark. Isn’t that a perfect picture of our life of faith? Some approach difficult moments in life with a fear, an anxiety that betrays the limits of their own self-reliance. Others, trusting in Jesus who undergirds their life, move on with a song and a confidence in God’s promise for them. That’s always the question isn’t it? What/who are you going to trust?

Sister Dorothy Day is a spiritual hero of mine. In the midst of the Great Depression, with its unbelievable suffering, borrowing on John 14:6, she wrote,

“All the way to Heaven, is Heaven, because Jesus said, ‘I am the Way.’”

We will step out onto the ice of 2021 with Jesus. We will be on the Way. We will do so with a song (hopefully not Sonny and Cher), trusting in our sure foundation. We do so knowing we are already in Heaven because we do this with Jesus as the Way. And we will do it together. And maybe, just maybe, that darn Christmas present will show up. Gotta have faith.

Peace and love to you my friends. God’s richest grace be upon you in these days, Pastor Tom