It has been one year since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down many parts of our lives and sent us whirling into new territory of virtual meetings, online school from home, and live-stream worship. The entire world experienced a year of unknowns and challenges unlike anything we had ever seen before. We have heard the word “unprecedented” so many times that we cringe when it is used now. But there is no better way to describe the past year; it truly was unprecedented in our lifetimes.
I will not diminish the devastation of the past year and all the sorrow COVID-19 has brought to our communities and families. But there have been some bright spots in the way that we have learned to care for and meet with one another online. For me, there have been some amazing new ways to connect with the children in my church through online formats, games, and even through old-fashioned letter writing.
In Zoom meetings the children taught me how to use the emoji reactions. They taught me how to chat and were hilarious in their responses to our Sunday School readings and video illustrations. I learned that making a game on Kahoot! could elicit laughter and joy. And a scavenger hunt is one of the best ways to get kids up and running around to joyfully find a spoon or a tube of toothpaste. I also enjoyed making videos of Bible stories with the children and learning how to use the video editor from the middle schoolers who are so proficient that they make it look completely natural to create the most seamless transitions between video takes. I learned how much kids like to share and talk about their lives, even on a screen, and how they will always lift up those they are thinking about in prayer.
The past year has been one that will take a lifetime to understand. But in the midst of it all, what a joy it has been to stay connected through so many media. I am grateful beyond measure for the resilience of all the children that I know.
Dear God, we thank you that even in times of great challenge, you walk with us and guide us with your steadfast love. We pray for all those who have suffered from COVID-19 and ask that you give us strength to continue to reach out to one another in love and care. Amen.