The first Sunday in August was the first Sunday for the new Lead Pastor at Lewis Center United Methodist Church. The previous pastor retired in June, and Pastor Phil has been doing everything in July. I’m sure he was glad to welcome the new Lead Pastor, Rev. Matt Yoder. Pastor Matt was one of the Associate Pastors at Linworth UMC when we attended there.
Before the service, Pastor Matt went from car to car to welcome people and introduce himself. What a strange way to celebrate your first Sunday – everyone in their cars at a drive-in service. And no potluck welcome dinner after the service. To top it off, Pastor Matt accidentally took both sets of car keys with him to church, so his wife and family were not able to attend the service.
Being a pastor these days, especially a new Lead pastor, must be incredibly difficult. Imagine meeting congregants from a distance of 6 feet and everyone wearing masks. Learning everyone’s names is hard enough when you can see their whole face! When we finally get to take the masks off someday, we will look like completely different people.
Thinking about this made me think about the verse in 1 Corinthians 13:12. “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.” Seeing each other face to face is so much better than seeing each other with masks on. I look forward to the day when we can see each other face to face again. I miss seeing smiles – or frowns – all those visual cues that help us really know each other.
Maybe this time of wearing face masks can teach us a little about what the Kingdom of Heaven will be like. Now we see each other with face masks. In the Kingdom of Heaven we will see the whole face – no more masks. Nothing hidden from God or from each other. Face to face.
I am praying for Pastor Matt as the new Lead Pastor at Lewis Center. I am praying for all pastors who are doing amazing and creative things to be able to see people during this strange time. May God give them strength. And may God strengthen us during this time of masks so that someday we will rejoice in seeing each other face to face.