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Across the Pastor’s Desk: Finding your own forever bond

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Kristi Mitchell

Kristi Mitchell

 

In these days and weeks of learning how to live amid the coronavirus, so many people have spoken of living the new normal. One of the things that is so challenging in this new normal is separation.

We have learned that for the care of ourselves and others, we need to physically distance ourselves from one another. This time of separation has included keeping our distance from family, friends, co-workers, fellow grocery shoppers  and our faith community.

It is strange, this life of distancing. Being separated from one another has meant that we must be creative in our ways of connecting to people. Who knew that video chatting would become an everyday normal for us to keep our bonds tethered with others?

Think about the kinds of bonds you have created in your lifetime; bonds of friendship through the years in school or college. The bonds made in the workplace with co-workers, clients or those you serve.

What about the bonds created in your hometown, with neighbors or your faith community? And then there are those bonds of love with a spouse, significant other, parents, children, grandparents and family. Perhaps there have been other times in these relationships that you have been separated. Or has there been something that happened to drive a wedge between those bonds? Even the closest relationships with spouses, children, family and friends are vulnerable to a break because of our humanness.

Separation is not something new to us, but there are different depths of separation that occur for us and the connections we have formed with others.

One of the promises of God that I have been holding onto in these times of new normal separations comes through the words of Paul to the Romans in chapter 8 verses 38-39, “38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NRSV)

Knowing that there have been times when what I thought were forever connections have been broken, or knowing that caring for myself and others means I need to physically separate myself from the ones I love and care about, it can be hard to imagine that nothing, nothing separates us from the bond of love with our God.

In the letter to the Romans, Paul writes about this incredible bond of love that God has for his people. A bond forged through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God sent Jesus as the firstborn, for an entirely renewed creation. A new beginning for all of God’s creation. A new way of being, defined as righteous, glorious and embodied through the death and resurrection of Jesus.

It is an incredible gift to receive, this bond of love so strong that absolutely nothing can separate or sever us from this relationship — not a virus, not our present situation and not even death.

God has created a loving, forever bond with all humankind, which includes you and me. We have been eternally connected to our God through Jesus Christ.

So as we live today in a new normal that includes all kinds of necessary separation and distancing, may we find hope in and tether ourselves to the promise that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Kristi Mitchell is the pastor at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Alden.