Hope Lutheran Church of Klamath Falls, Oregon
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Sunday Service 3/29/2020

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8:30am Heritage Service
9:45am Fellowship Hour
11:00am Contemporary Service & Sunday School


Hope Lutheran Church
2314 Homedale Road
Klamath Falls OR 97603
541.884.6414




 2021: A NEW YEAR AFTER THE PANDEMIC
 
“Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23
 
2020 has been quite the year. We all have hopes for 2021, especially in overcoming this COVID-19 pandemic. Presently two vaccines are becoming available, giving hope to many. But even with these, projections of a more “normal” life are still months away… but nevertheless these projections are in this new year of 2021. Unfortunately in the meantime, with numbers rising and restrictions still in place, we need to hang tough as this pandemic passes. Yet for the sake of hope, let me share some insights:
 
After the pandemic in this new year, I think that we all are looking forward to returning to “normal.” But let me suggest that I believe that WE CAN DO BETTER THAN WHAT WAS NORMAL. In this new year, let us consider, dream about, and pray about how we can return to something even better than what was normal in our lives.
 
After this pandemic in this new year, let us never take for granted the appearances of one another WITHOUT MASKS. Let us appreciate every smile. As so much is communicated by our facial expressions, let us notice them anew. Let us hold precious the unhindered faces of others.
 
After this pandemic in this new year, let us SIT CLOSE to one another in every pew. Let us not worry about whether we will have too many people for our building. May we be close enough to not only to hear each other, but to feel their expression deep in our hearts.
 
After this pandemic in this new year, let's go back to the Biblical practice of "SHARING OF THE PEACE" during our worship. Let us have hearty two-handed handshakes.  Let's hug one another again, respecting each other's proper boundaries. Let us practice again good-natured human touch. Let us remember how much we need it and how healing it can be.
 
After this pandemic in this new year, let's have HOLY COMMUNION … weekly at our worship services. Let's walk away from the altar with forgiveness; receiving a foretaste of a better world. May we never again take for granted this sacrament that builds our community of faith.
 
After this pandemic in this new year, let's have weekly SOCIAL TIMES, quarterly monthly POTLUCKS, and special CHURCH DINNERS. May we enjoy again communing with one after over the gifts of delicious food.
 
After this pandemic in this new year, let's fill our hearts with the gloriously noise CHILDREN make. Let them meet at SUNDAY SCHOOL and YOUTH EVENTS face to face. Let us ever rejoice the gift of youth among us.
 
After this pandemic in this new year, let us continue to USE THE SKILLS we have learned to use technology to spread the gospel and to communicate with each other. But also, let us not turn our faith into something experienced only over the internet. Let us recommit to MEETING TOGETHER IN-PERSON without fear of spreading the virus to others. Let us rejoice how discipleship and spiritual growth happens best within a face-to-face community.
 
After this pandemic in this new year, let us UNDERSTAND how some chose to self-quarantine while others chose to be present with protocols.  Let us FORGIVE each other for the things we said or not said, the ways we acted or didn’t act, especially when we were crabby or fearful or stressed-out. We've all had our times when we did well and times when we weren't at our best. These past 9 months has been tough for us all – and it is very probably the next few months might not be some great either. Let us take heart, let us trust in God that hope is on the way.
 
May the good Lord bless each and every one of us in this new year!
Pastor Lou