- The Rev. Arianne Rice
Participate in Your Transformation!
This morning we hear from Paul's letter, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds." (Romans 12:2)
Do you remember Romper Room? I remember watching the 'teacher' in the show hold up a mirror and say, "I see Amy, I see Charlie, I see Julie." Of course she didn't literally see them - or did she? She saw them in her heart and mind. She saw all the children, like me, who were watching at home.
And she made us feel like we were there, like we were part of that magic garden in Romper Room.
This week we are getting conformed to being at home, to keeping a safe distance, to managing our anxiety. We are getting conformed to a new reality. A scary reality. There are unknowns. Rules and guidelines change daily. We are getting conformed to a new way of the world.
The way of the world, though, does not transform us. That is the work of God and the Holy Spirit. Transformation is what happens when we accept the reality of what is happening and continue to trust in the ways of God. We are a people who worship. Who gather regularly and ritually to sing, say prayers and hear sacred scripture.
We are still doing that. But in a new way. We are renewing our practices to maintain our compassion, connection and faith.
I want to invite you to participate in a practice of paying attention to this transformation. As I've connected with individuals, colleagues, committees online I've checked-in with two questions. What is hard and what is helpful?
What is hard? It's important to name our challenges. To name the ways we are feeling overwhelmed or stressed. Naming them helps us claim them so we can work through them. Naming our struggles, with others, helps people know we are in this together. That my challenges are probably shared by other people. We are one human family.
What is helpful? This is an active practice of gratitude! Gratitude is what enables us to tap into our joy. Gratitude is what turns the ordinary into extraordinary blessings simply by "seeing" what we already have. Gratitude shares compassion and encouragement. And, it's contagious!
When we come back together (and we will!) I look forward to all the sharing we will do around how we got through this time. What was hard? What was helpful. God is at work in us every day - but in this unique time - pay attention to how you are being renewed, day by day.