Do Not Cease
I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. – Ephesians 1:15-16 (NRSV)
I have heard of your pandemic-related anxieties:
Will I lose my job or my home? How will the isolation and disruption impact my children’s emotional health? How can we bridge our divisions? And: Is the church dying?Will people come back?
For this reason I do not cease to remember you in my prayers.
I have heard of your existential struggles: How the pandemic has laid bare the precarity of your life and so much that sustains it.
For this reason I will not cease to hold you in my heart.
I have heard of your faith in the Lord of Love: How you are learning to sit with uncertainty and ground yourself in trust.
For this reason I cannot cease to give thanks for you.
I have heard of your love for the least of these: How you dug deep to give to those in need.
For this reason I count myself blessed.
I have heard of your work for justice: How determined you are to love your neighbors and your enemies. How committed you are to building the beloved community.
For this reason my heart overflows with gratitude.
I have heard of your doggedness: How quickly you figured out how to gather the saints online and continued caring for one another.
For this reason I marvel at what love can do.
Carry on, beloveds, and do not cease.
I cannot cease to give thanks. I will not cease to give thanks. Let me never cease to give thanks.
Vicki Kemper is the Pastor of First Congregational, UCC, of Amherst, Massachusetts.