M-Note 8.13.2021

Yesterday, an intense storm swept through St. Louis. It didn’t last long, but it was enough to down trees all over the area and leave many, including the Miofsky family, without power. As I write, we are going on 16 hours without power. With so much damage, we aren’t sure when we might get it back. Fortunately, the evening was cool, we slept well, and we have everything we need. We will be fine. But while sitting in the dark last night, I started thinking about all the things that are affected when the power goes out. For example, this morning I wanted to make coffee, but of course, that requires power. We had wet clothes just beginning to dry, but there’s no power. You’re hungry? Forget it. We aren’t opening that refrigerator because…well, no power. And the worst of all – you want to just watch Netflix and forget it all. You can’t. No power! Nearly everything in our home, and so many of the conveniences and necessities that we worry about every day require one thing. A reliable power source. We don’t think about that much, but when it goes out, it impacts everything.
 
It got me thinking about our spiritual lives. Over the past year, I have heard so many people tell me something like, “I just feel really disconnected”. A lot of us have felt that. Disconnected socially from friends, emotionally from joy, relationally to those close to us, professionally from our work, and even spiritually from church and worship. We feel disconnected. Why? I suppose there are a lot of reasons. COVID is the easy answer. It has caused all of this. But, maybe that isn’t the whole story. Many of us don’t realize how important our spiritual life is until it is suddenly disrupted, disconnected from its source. Many of us attended worship when we needed it, maybe we're part of a group, and had some rhythms in our life that kept us connected to Jesus. But, suddenly there was a global power outage, a disruption that disconnected us from those normal rhythms, and we haven’t necessarily recovered. Many of us haven’t done the hard work of staying connected to Christ, to faith, to the source of our energy. And we are feeling it.
 
Jesus once said, “A branch cannot produce fruit by itself, but must remain in the vine… I am the vine, you are the branches” (John 15.4-5).
 
Of course, there was no electricity back then, so Jesus uses an organic metaphor. But, the idea is the same. All of the elements of your life require energy, require a power source. You don’t think about it much until that source is disrupted. Then piece by piece, life can begin to feel disconnected. You can spend months, years trying to address the various areas of your life. Sometimes it never occurs to us that the problem is deeper. It isn’t that your work isn’t right, that you need a hobby, or that we have to get some new friends, at least not usually. It may be that you have grown disconnected from your source, the one who infuses life and purpose into everything else you do.
 
I know that right now, it is hard to stay connected to Jesus. Many of us have stopped the normal rhythms that keep us connected – worship, prayer, talking to others about faith, getting together to learn and grow in scripture. Because of COVID, some of us haven’t been doing these things, and it is beginning to show. That disruption is leaving us disconnected. But, here is the good news. Today, you can begin to plug back in. Join us for worship on the weekends, in-person or online. New CoreGroups are starting, so set aside the excuses you’ve used for not doing it and just try one. You can sign up for a new group here. Or reach out to one of our pastors and we can help you begin to reconnect. It isn’t magic. It may not change things overnight. But, plugging back in will begin to restore power to places in our life that we didn’t realize needed it. The results may be surprising.
 
I’d prefer to not be in a storm. But, storms happen. And we have to work to stay connected. I want to thank all of you who have stayed connected to church and joined us for worship, either in-person or online. It means so much to me personally. Having a community to worship with has been vital for me, and it has been so good to see all of you. I hope this community has been vital for you, as well. Stay safe out there, and I will see you this weekend.
P.S. This week, we will continue our series Fire and Brimstone: The Book of Revelation.  You can read ahead and check out the third vision of John’s in Revelation 12. If you want to catch up on the messages, you can find them here, and I have included a list of resources in the app for those of you that want to study the book further. Finally, CoreGroup sign-ups are underway. If you aren’t sure what group is right for you, or have questions about CoreGroups, reach out to Denee or Matt Fulmer, and they can help you.

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