August and September of this past year might seem as if it was years ago. I know it does to me. At that time we held weekly outdoor gatherings for prayer and communion with a Scripture reading, a short devotional message and music. It was a time to worship God and connect with each other for all who could come. Usually, around 25 people did.
The first of these vespers events was held on August 15, five months after our Illinois governor’s stay-at-home order in response to the sweeping nature of the COVID-19 virus back in March. That decision at the state level brought in-person worship at Knox to a halt. In case you haven’t noticed, it is March again. A year ago, the month of March was infused with growing dread. Right now, the month of March is infused with growing hope.
At that first vespers I mentioned a blog written just that week by Fr. Richard Rohr of the Center for Contemplation and Action. He notes several classic models of human and spiritual development and offers his own that consists of three words: order, disorder and reorder. Order is about self-preservation. Disorder ensues when we come face-to-face with the counter-culture love of God that “matures the soul.” Reorder comes as all is remade, not to be what it was but to be what God has fully intended all along, a new way we need but might not even imagine.
I hear mention of restoring things back to the way they were. The word most often used is getting back to “normal.” What I don’t want to miss, however, is the greater good God intends, something different than just going back. The truest, deepest good leads to a reordering that isn’t what was but what should be. “God, what are you showing us that leads us to the better?” is an important question for us in every area of life. I invite us to keep it in mind. I wonder how we will gauge how far we have come when we look back to today from the standpoint of March of 2022.
Grateful to journey with you in this season,