At first I didn’t remember exactly why March 16th is highlighted in a brilliant yellow but then I realized the significance of this date and it’s not because it’s in anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day.   Rather, it is exactly one year ago since we began sending a daily email excluding Sundays. That means you have endured 313 emails, of which 52 of them have been sent on Saturday reminding you of pastoral concerns and joys and celebrations; 261emails have included a daily reflection for pondering or not.  I wanted to mark this day by writing something clever but I’m running out of time and I know how dependent you are on these reflections and how reactive you’ve become when you don’t get fed on time. I didn’t want to cause you more angst. So out of curiosity I reviewed our COVID-19 Daily Emailed Folder. We have 206 full pages with a total word count of 108,011.  I went back to the first email. I’m sure you remember what we wrote but just in case, here it is again. “As a response to the spread of COVID-19 virus health officials have encouraged us to keep our distance, which means to avoid intimacy or close contact. Yet, distancing from one another seems contrary to the sense of community. Particularly a community like ours, centered on being connected in Christ. So in this time of keeping people at ‘arm’s length’ we need a way for the Spirit to keep us connected.  We may not be able to gather for a bit but we can offer you the opportunity to gather in Spirit with the sisters and brothers of Pine Shores for an evening reading, reflection and prayer. Beginning today, until we are once again able to gather as a community, we will email an evening scripture reading with questions to reflect upon and a prayer.”  
We are getting ever so close to a renewed reality. Things definitely feel different. I’m guessing just a few more months to endure especially since a number of us have gotten or are will be getting our shots. This wilderness journey is running its course. We have continued to shine the light of Christ in, through, and assuredly beyond.

Scripture Reading: Romans 5:1-5 (This was the reading for March 16, 2020)
 “Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”

Reflection Questions:
What does it mean to endure?
What have you learned about yourself during this past year?
When you hear the words “and hope does not disappoint us” what do you think about?

Prayer:
Holy God, source of all that is good, you have led us through this day and all of our days. You have poured your love into our hearts.  Grant us and all your beloved a peaceful evening and when the morning comes let the light of hope shine in us. Amen

To view previous readings click HERE