As we continue to work through the change and challenges of this time, says Bishop Hughes, that inspiration that led us to the faith in the first place and that keeps us going in the faith is going to be important to us. (Time: 3:30.)
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When we honor people through these awareness months, says Bishop Hughes, it is to help us see that we're all actually part of one another. We are all more of who we are because of all of us being part of the same family, that is the people of God.
Sometimes we get so caught up with our own needs being met at church that we forget that we're part of something bigger, says Bishop Hughes. And when we gather like we did at Convention this past Saturday, we remember that we are part of something bigger: God's work.
The enormity of the miracle that is resurrection is one that takes time for us to celebrate. It's also one that takes time for us to reflect on, to learn, about to think about, to explore, in order for us to live fully as resurrected people.
Suddenly it is Holy Week! What a gift and blessing to observe Holy Week services in person this year. As importantly, we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ as a changed people. God has been generous, and we are grateful.
“As you head towards the end of Lent and into Holy Week and towards Easter,” says Bishop Hughes, “I think it's important for all of us to be preparing to share this thing that we love so much: that we know that God is here for us, that God cares for us, and God is here for every single person.” (Time: 5:27.)
Bishop Hughes reminds us that we can pray for God to do the impossible – even if we don't feel worthy or don't have the words – whether that is in our family, in our church, across the street, across the state, or across the world in Ukraine.
God understands that some part of us has the struggle that Paul names in Romans – that we do the things that we don't mean to do. And Lent gives us a chance to look at that, to turn ourselves, again and again, back to God, and ask the question, “What is it that I am called to do now? And what do I need to ask forgiveness for? And who do I need to forgive?” (Time: 3:59.)
Bishop Hughes describes how, when she has met with congregations during these years of pandemic, despite all the challenges people face, the word she hears most often is "blessed." She hears stories of gratitude and hope – and she urges us to share those stories.
"The blessing of Black History Month is it reminds us we are in relationships that are to be honored and treasured," says Bishop Hughes, "but to honor and treasure them we have to know each other better."