Sunday was…strange and wonderful. It was a joy to see members of my congregation – lots of waving and crinkled-eyes (smiles covered by masks, but you can still tell when people are smiling!). We kept our distance, we sanitized our hands, we had check-in for contact tracing, we were careful, but we were TOGETHER in a way we hadn’t been in six months.

To say emotions ran high and were complex, barely begins to cover it. I was by turns, anxious, stressed, thrilled, blessed, joyful, and struggling with all that has changed. And yet, it was good.

I was surprised, more than once, at the emotions that bubbled to the surface. And probably one of the biggest moments for me, was when I pronounced the benediction. It’s the same words I have used to bless congregations that I have served over the last thirteen years of full-time ministry. The words I learned from my Dad, who has taught me so much about ministry, simply by being a man of integrity and character who always strives to honour Jesus.

This is what I say at the close of worship, and this is what I hadn’t said for six months until this past Sunday:

Some things have changed, there is no doubt about that. But some things are as they were. Some things are too strong, too resilient, to be taken down by the changes that have happened. And speaking words of blessing to people, remains a powerful way of shining light into a dark world.

Until tomorrow, dear friends, hold tight to the things that are too strong to be taken down by the changes surrounding us!