When my Dad died, my sister, Suzi, read the following:
I’ve struggled my whole adult life to be able to describe my dad. Was he an introvert or an extrovert? Was he flexible or rigid? Was he serious or silly? Was he patient or irritable? Traditional or progressive? Diligent or reckless? The answer to all of these questions is yes. He was all of these things depending on the space and the company and his mood. I wrestled with how to remember him with you today since not all of you got to see him as we did. So, instead of trying to describe him with elusive adjectives, we decided to listen to his life. I asked my siblings and nieces and nephews to spend some time reflecting on what Papa’s life taught them about who he was and who we are. What comes next is a compilation of seven things we heard when we listened to how he chose to live.
- Show up. Show up to church when your community gathers to worship. Show up for your friends when hard things happen. Show up for your family when they perform or play in a game or celebrate a milestone and lock their keys in their car again. He loved to solve our problems. If someone he liked was stirring the pot for a just cause, he would grab a spoon, show up and stir that pot with them. He was with us, and I dare say many of you, in real and tangible ways when we needed someone just like him to show up.
I have thought of this often in the last year. I share a bit more for context, but this phrase is what has stuck with me all during COVID.
Show up to church when your community gathers to worship.
I will admit that the break from the Sunday routine was a welcome gift for a while. There was something different to experience that was never really an option in growing up as an active family in the Church. However, as weeks went into months and months became over 1 year, there were times I wondered how it would be to resume Sunday worship. I missed people, but I was really starting to like my Sunday mornings.
Today, I went back to Church. I didn’t think twice, and it felt so sweet to be together. It did not feel like it had been a year. Things were different, and different did not take away the goodness.
I am grateful that my parents taught us to show up to church when our community gathers to worship. So I can say that, especially today, the words of the Psalmist rang true: I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD.”
As you reenter into your post covid routines and feel like something more is needed, consider finding a local congergation. I hope and pray that you will find what your heart longs for in showing up!