Emmanuel: God With Us

A Message from Rev. Maya Landell

The sun is shining and when I look out my office window it is hard to imagine that we are in such a state of high alert. The birds are singing and as I sit at my desk it can seem as if it’s “business as usual.” But, my friends, it is not.

We are paying attention to bulletins from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Public Health Agency of Canada, and local public health agencies. We are learning the definition of social distancing (one metre). And we are being invited to see ourselves as part of the global story of the transmission of COVID-19, rather than being isolated from it.

More than ever we are connected to our neighbourhoods, and we pray for our neighbours, families, friends, health care workers, scientists, and emergency responders.

Together as a faith community we are praying into the fear that is moving faster than the virus.

This Sunday we will gather one last time before we take a three-week break in line with the closing of the schools as recommended by the Ontario Medical Officer of Health.

This Sunday, in The Story, we arrive at the destination we have been approaching and anticipating for some weeks. For this Sunday, He will be born.

Jesus, the light of the world, born into a time of uncertainty, of the crumbling of empire, of paranoid kings, disease and fear. This one, Emmanuel, came to remind us, now more than ever, that God is With Us (Emmanuel). We Are Not Alone.

This baby that grew to be a man, who spread out his arms in blessing and love and said “peace be with you” and “do not be afraid.” Those are the words I am praying into this time, as I make wise choices for my own health and that of my immediate family, our church family and our neighbourhood. Those are the same words I invite all of us to pray collectively as we respond with care and compassion to the needs of the world.

I know it might feel like a lot right now. But we are not alone. Keep praying. Keep caring. Keep naming how you feel. Keep connected. Keep hope alive.

Rev. Maya