Deans' Note Apr. 25, 2021

Towards the end of the Sabbath, observant Jews pray Psalm 23. When we think of the words of this Psalm, it makes perfect sense since the words of this Psalm entrust our daily lives to the Lord's care. In a real sense, we have been experiencing a sort of long sabbath brought about because of the Covid pandemic. Now it seems that daily life is beginning to re-emerge, not unlike the end of the Sabbath. One line of this Psalm, in particular, has an impact on these days. We traditionally know it as "he restoreth my soul." The great translator of the Hebrew Bible, Robert Alter, uses this phrase, "My life he gives back." We are at a time when we feel as though we are being given our life back and we invite the Lord to shepherd us, to lead us as he already has led us through the valley of death's shadow all the days of our life.

So now at St. John's, we begin the plan to get our corporate life back as we mark a new beginning next Sunday with in-person worship at a single service at 9 AM. Since this is a transition time, we need to ask you please to make a reservation if you plan to attend. Seating will be limited, and socially distant. Also, masks are required. Finally, because we are a community and what each of us does affects all of us, we ask that you get vaccinated against covid-19 before you attend public in-person worship. Being vaccinated is an expression of loving your neighbor.

As we enter this new phase we do not know what the future will bring, but in joy, we enter the future knowing that the Lord is our shepherd. We shall not want.