Redeem the Time

Greetings, Siblings in Christ,
“Redeem the time…” (Letter to the Ephesians 5.16a).
I had a very odd dream last night (Tuesday night).
I dreamt that I was looking at my wristwatch. Part of the band had been ripped apart so badly that I was not able to wear it. 
I began my day today (Wednesday) without wearing my watch. I didn’t realize that I wasn’t wearing it, until I came upon it, unexpectedly, beneath a pile of papers on my desk, this afternoon.
So vivid had my dream been, that when I laid eyes on the watch, I was briefly surprised to see the band was not torn, but rather in perfect working order. 
Right… I reminded myself. It was only a dream.
Our sense of time is undergoing a serious transformation.
Today (Wednesday) wasn’t the first day I forgot what day it was.
Today when the Governor announced that school openings would be delayed from April 5 to May 4, two teenagers of my acquaintance began to really hunker down. Bedrooms were rearranged for the long haul. Precious treasures, undesired furniture, art projects from long ago were dragged to the garage, the back porch, the attic. Jamie moved a bookshelf into the living room next to her favorite chair, as she prepared to teach on-line for the next six weeks (at least). People are nesting. 
Today, I learned that a medical professional who has been beautifully attending to my recovery from knee surgery has been laid off indefinitely. 
Today our Bishops directed clergy in the Diocese to extend the prohibition of public worship with more than 10 in attendance from April 19 the Sunday after Easter until May 31, the Feast of Pentecost. (Click here  to learn more about the Diocesan response to the COVID-19 outbreak)
Redeem the time.
This is how we redeem the time: Our Bishops write, “The season of Lent is always a time for returning our focus to those things which matter most. In these strange days we find ourselves doing just that--concentrating our every thought and prayer on health and security, petition and thanksgiving, life and love, God and neighbor.”
What will these ways of redeeming the time look like for you and those you love during this Lenten season?
Today, at Christ Church, redeeming the time today in part looked like Wednesday Morning and Evening Bible Study meeting as usual, by Zoom. It looked like parishioners and staff calling and checking in on one another. It looked like conversations between me and the Wardens and other lay leaders on the phone and online on matters pastoral, financial, liturgical. It looked like Ali and me emailing and texting back and forth as we prepared eBlasts and bulletins and planned for Zoom worship and Coffee hour this Sunday (yes, Zoom Coffee Hour. You won’t want to miss this! Put your best mug on.) It looked like me getting a lump in my throat when opening a handwritten note from the Very Rev. Amy McCreath, Dean of our Cathedral. She sent it to the rectory (not the church, because we may not be there!) informing me that the Cathedral Community was praying for us this Sunday as part of the Diocesan Cycle of Prayer. “What a blessing your parish is!” she writes. “I am so thankful for the generosity, faith, and collaborative spirit that you manifest.” 
Indeed, that is Christ Church, redeeming the time.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any of the staff if we may be service during this time. And reach out to one another.
More to come from our Wardens.
Faithfully,
Nick+