When is the last time you flew on a plane?

I just got off a plane a few days ago. I have been on a few over the past six months. Each time I am on a plane I am still shocked that we no longer have to wear a mask.

I am still adjusting to the reality that we might be coming out of a global pandemic. Some things that changed during the pandemic will stay that way. Zoom meetings, less travel, and ordering in…. Many of these changes are so positive.

Some of us might even be tempted to stay in our pandemic shell but my flights reminded me that the world is open again and made m e think that maybe it is time that I fully lean in to post pandemic living.

One of the adjustments I have made is leaning back into volunteer work. At the end of last year I started volunteering at Branches Lakeview campus a few hours a week, tutoring and leading a Chapel for them. Getting back out in the community lifted my spirits!

This week our children and youth and teachers start back to school! They are all leaning into a new school year that will be fully in person (so far!).

This week we also start a new sermon series on the gospels. We continue in our Bible year and now reach a point where we see that in Jesus Christ God leaned into the world.

God could have backed away from us all together. The Old Testament is really a story of God’s faithfulness and humanity’s continued need to make bad decisions.

Yet, God did not back away but rather leaned in to us through sending Jesus to be one of us!

We too are called to lean into this new world. We are called to lean in to one another and work to be present for one another. We are called to lean into our faith and the faith community that sustains us.

This week I pray each of us might pray about a way we need to lean back into the world around us. In what ways can we give more? In what ways can we fully participate?

Knowing that when we show up and lean in, a small piece of heaven is found here on earth.

Rev. Dr. Audrey B. Warren