Eight months ago, my friend Joy and I hiked past Patrick’s Mountain. It was our last official day of hiking. We ended the hike in the beautiful town of Westport, in County Mayo. Who could have imagined that I would be spending St.Patrick’s Day 2020 on the phone and in multiple Zoom meetings talking about how to do ministry during the time of COVID-19. I love being outdoors, feeling the sun and wind on my face and earth under my feet. Today I am giving thanks that I can still do those things, even if Patrick’s Mountain is not in view.
Does Patrick have anything helpful to say to us today? Here are the famous words from his breastplate:
What exactly does it mean? Does it mean that we can do whatever we want and God will take care of us? No, I do not think so. God has gifted each of us with abilities, relationships, and information. Putting all of those together, hopefully we can glean some collective wisdom. We are meant to steward those resources to the best of our abilities, knowing that God journeys with us. Every time a parishioner asks, “Now, how are you doing pastor?” I assume they actually care and are not just being polite. I take the opportunity to be accountable to keeping myself healthy so I can continue to lead well. Occasionally I take the opportunity to share the load. We are all doing the best we can right now. A colleague posted this, written by a friend of hers, a few days ago, which now feels like a few weeks ago. It sums up well where most of us are at; trying to do the next best thing knowing that God is always with us.