A Message From The Pastor | The Dover Church
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By now, I would imagine all of you have heard about the oversized sophomore party in Sherborn last week which has postponed in-person education at Dover-Sherborn High School by yet another week. I would also imagine you have some strong opinions about the children and parents responsible. If you have high schoolers who were not involved but are now stuck at home, I am certain you know how deflated, frustrated and bitter so many of our neighbors feel right now. Believe me, with a junior and 7th grader, I am right there with you in this mosh pit of surging emotions.
As your pastor, however, I am called to try to help people in our church and the surrounding community find a spiritually healthier way forward than anger and finger pointing, or "no big deal" dismissiveness, healthier than demeaning each other. In short, Jesus teaches us that whenever we live in anger and bitterness, our eyes are darkened to the beauty of life and the gratitude which would otherwise well up in us for that gift, blind to the divine image in our neighbors which we should safeguard as we safeguard our own lives.
Jesus always places the bar for societal regard as low as possible. Jesus always insists that what we do "to the least of these" is not only what counts, but is both the measure of our souls and the measure of our love of God and neighbor. We may say we love God and our neighbors, but it is what we do for the hungry, naked, sick, thirsty and imprisoned that tells the true tale.
In this particular case of Covid 19, it is how we protect the Covid vulnerable that is the measure of our love of God and neighbors. I ask you to always view every behavioral choice in these terms: do I wear a mask? My friend's mother has weak lungs and I'm going to see him and he's going to see her....yes, I wear a mask. Do I go to a keg party with people from all over the East Coast? My teachers at school live with health compromised relatives...no, I don't go. In other words, let us try to make our decision not by looking in the mirror and seeing what we want to see, but rather by looking around and seeing where the threats to others lies.
Here at The Dover Church, we take the safeguarding of the most vulnerable with absolute seriousness. While we recognize the spiritual needs of our members and friends, the feelings of isolation and bereftness when we remain far apart for so long, we also want to contribute positively to the eventual containment of this virus. We ask all of you who participate in our outdoor worship or other ministries like youth group, please always consider your less than robustly healthy neighbor. Wear your masks over your noses and stay home if you might have come in contact with a Covid positive person.
As you pastor, no one longs for the life giving experience of a full to bursting church on Thanksgiving Sunday or Advent and Christmas. It is the very air I breath and I have felt short of breath these last six months. But is the Lord our God who breathes our very lives into us and we must trust that even now God is moving powerfully for the good.
Hang in there and please give me a call if you just want to punch someone in the face!
In faith, hope and love,
Max - by the grace of our Lord, your pastor