Zion Lutheran Church Congregation

  • Excerpt from March, 2021 "The Mountain Top Messenger" newsletter...

    I was watching the weather last night and the weatherman said that March 1st is considered meteorological spring. So, I am going to pretend this is our spring newsletter cover. I know that following the last two weeks of Arctic blast/Polar Vortex, I am ready for spring...

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1111 11th Avenue West ● Ashland, WI 54806 ● (715) 682-6075 ● inquiry@zionashland.org

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March 2021 "The Mountain Top Messenger" Newsletter
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I was watching the weather last night and the weatherman said that March 1st is considered meteorological spring. So, I am going to pretend this is our spring newsletter cover. I know that following the last two weeks of Arctic blast/Polar Vortex, I am ready for spring. I was able to check on my bees this past week, it appears they are alive and doing well. I am also certain that they are ready for spring as well. I am also aware of the fact that they were not particularly happy with me opening up the hive to check on them. Normally I would have used a little smoke to help calm them down, but I thought, "well it's still a little cool, they should be a little slow while I check on their food supply" Wrong! One or two of the more active ones decided to get under my loose shirt and leave me a remembrance of their displeasure. On the bright side, there are lots of bees and they appear to be doing well.

Now you may ask what in the world do bees have to do with our message? Well, as I look at my bees, June thinks I may be a bit strange with this, but I like to sometimes just sit and watch them. Bees have an amazing society; honey bees are called a superorganism. What is a superorganism you might ask? Well, the textbook answer goes like this: A social unit of eusocial animals, such as honey bees, which have highly organized division of labor, and where individual honey bees aren't able to survive by themselves for any length of time. I find bees as a remarkable indicator of God's creativity. They have such a highly developed social structure and every bee works for the colony and knows what the needs are for the colony.

In some ways I look at people in the same way, as a sort of super colony. We all have a form and purpose in our colony, world, creation. Now an individual unlike a single bee can at a certain points in their life exist alone. But certainly not alone from birth, and we wouldn't want it at the end of life either. God has created us to be social. Even in His commandments the directive is to love your neighbor. He desire is not for us to be separated from one another, nor to not care about one another, but to love one another. Sometimes I think we forget that, sometimes I even feel our society today encourages us to isolation. With all of technology and social media it seems the encouragement of physical, social interaction is shunned, particularly now in the age of pandemic. I ran into a friend today at the restaurant. He and his wife stated that today was the first day they had eaten out since last March! She said that she felt insecure and almost sick to her stomach with apprehension. They are by no means alone; I know many people like them in varying degrees. We have unfortunately become socially isolated, and unfortunately the older you are the more isolated you are as your use of many of the digital ways of interacting are limited. The couple I saw this morning said the only reason they were out is that they have now both received both of their vaccinations and were feeling slightly more comfortable in leaving the safety and sanctuary of their home. The reason I bring this up not to try and tell you to get out and mingle, or to go somewhere where you do not feel comfortable. The reason I mention this is to let you know that if you are feeling that way; alone, isolated, scared, unable to get out, you are not alone. Many people feel that way and there are things we can and should be doing. We should be communicating with those around us who we know may be feeling alone and isolated. We should be offering assistance to any of our friends and neighbors in need. It may be something as simple as a phone call, or even a letter. We need to let all of those in the superorganism that we call the church they are not forgotten. This response can work in two ways. One is the response of those of you who may feel alone and or forgotten; reach out, call a friend, call your pastor. The other for those of us who may be doing ok to reach out to those we haven't heard from in a while, call your friends from church, write them a letter, leave something on their doorstep. I have been calling and checking on those I haven't seen in a while, and I know I haven't reached all of you, and I haven't seen some of you in quite a while. I was suffering with a cold and cough for all of January and most of February. I am doing better now, and hope to again start visiting those at home who would like a visit. If you are one of those, if I haven't reached out to you, please, please, call me. I have had people tell me; "oh I didn't call, I know how busy you are" I want you to know I am never too busy to take your call, or to visit you at home. So you are aware of it, I have received both of the COVID vaccinations. So now, as things begin to warm up, as people continue to be vaccinated, as the numbers continue to decline, I pray that you all stay well, and I hope to see you all very soon.

29Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' 31The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:29-31)

God Bless you all,
Pastor Rick