Whether you’re celebrating the Ascension of the Lord or the Seventh Sunday of Easter this week, you’ll be hearing a timely question from the disciples: Lord, is this the time? (Acts 1:6)

166 – Version 2Is this the time we can meet in person again?
Is this the time to resume congregational singing?
Is this the time we can share Communion again?
Is then when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?

The disciples expected the world to go back to the way they believed God intended it to be. That’s what they hoped for from Jesus. They were trying to make plans for their own ministry moving forward, because they didn’t quite know what it would look like once Jesus had ascended into heaven. They were in a strange in-between time, knowing that they had been called to a mission, but unsure of how to proceed. Sound familiar?

Many of us have been worshipping exclusively online since sometime in Lent. We are now nearing the end of the season of Easter. How has your community experienced new life in these past weeks? How has the Resurrection continued to guide your ministry?

1 Peter 4:12 reminds us that testing is part of the Christian journey, and that God can bear all of our anxieties. Psalm 68 rejoices in the awesomeness of God and the justice that God brings to the earth. Ephesians 1 is a letter to a small church, from a leader rejoicing in their faithfulness from afar. Do any of these readings particularly resonate with you this week? Where are you finding the Good News for your people?

As faith leaders across the world struggle with the whens, whys, and hows of restoring in-person gatherings, I commend to you the work of the Wisconsin Council of Churches. There are so many unanswered questions about how to do worship together, but one thing is certain: the church is not closed. Buildings might be, but the followers of Jesus continue to do the work of the church from wherever they are. The church, and its ministries, are definitely open!

Blessings to you as you continue to do the work of the church in these strange times. May you find comfort and peace, courage and willpower, and know that whatever you are doing is the right thing to do. Please share below your questions and reflections – whether on your sermon, children’s message, or the joys and challenges of Zoom! Stay healthy, dear ones.

Katya Ouchakof is a hospital chaplain and paddlesports professional in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. She is still wearing a mask in public and has no intentions of going out to the local bars, no matter how many of them re-open! Katya posts daily inspiration on her blog.

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3 thoughts on “Revised Common Lectionary: Is This The Time?

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