Rev. Valarie Englert, Senior Pastor
And are we yet alive, and see each other’s face?
Glory and thanks to Jesus give for his almighty grace!
Charles Wesley, master hymn writer, brother of John Wesley, and our ancestor in Methodism, penned these words in 1749.
This hymn (sung to the tune of Blest Be the Tie That Binds) was popular at annual meetings of the Methodist Societies in England.
Times could be hard, and the lyrics of this hymn recognized that, giving the gathered body the opportunity to sing of what they had struggled with over the last year:
What troubles have we seen, what mighty conflicts past,
Fightings without, and fears within, since we assembled last.
This hymn feels like it was written just for us – the people called Methodist – who have lived through a year beyond our imagining.
Yet we are coming through this, all the while holding in our hearts the suffering of people across the globe who continue to struggle with the effects of COVID-19.
And joy of joys, we will be able to see each other’s face as we gather for in-person worship on June 6 for the first time in 15 months!
We are re-entering in a careful fashion, paying attention to CDC and Dallas County guidelines.
We want to “do no harm,” to keep everyone as healthy and safe as possible.
But we will gather for worship again – to pray together, praise together, see each other, give thanks that God has been faithful through this ordeal.
Yet out of all the Lord hath brought us by his love;
and still he doth his help afford, and hides our life above.
I am excited to gather again, and to see you, my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ.
May God bless this new stage of our journey together!
Then let us make our boast of his redeeming power,
which saves us to the uttermost, till we can sin no more.
Let us take up the cross till we the crown attain,
and gladly reckon all things loss so we may Jesus gain.