Often, I’d rather talk about geology than current events, and that’s even more true these days. So, a geology story to begin with, which begins in January of the year 1700. Near the end of the month, on the eastern coast of Japan, large waves began to make their way ashore. The flooding damaged buildings, washed out rice paddies, started fires and swamped boats. Now, because Japan is in a seismically active area, people were well aware of earthquakes and the waves that often followed. Even the word we use to identify these waves is a Japanese word: a compound of the words for harbor—tsu—and the word for waves—nami.

Samuel was not happy. The leaders of the people had gathered and had demanded that Samuel find them a king. In 1 Samuel 8, Samuel had tried to pass the leadership of the tribes over to his sons, but they turned out to be less than ideal leaders. The text says that they “…did not follow his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.” So, perhaps it wasn’t that unreasonable for the elders of Israel to start looking at other models.

By the late 1600s, ship owners and merchants began to gather regularly at Edward Lloyd’s coffee shop in London to discuss the latest shipping news. They would talk about the ships leaving port, and those overdue to return. And they would plan new ventures. To protect these ventures, various individuals would put up insurance on the voyage, signing their name under the amount they were willing to back. This is where the insurance term “underwriter” comes from, and where the famous insurance company Lloyd's of London got its start.

Does size matter? This last Sunday, we celebrated not only Mother’s Day, but also the time that Steven Headings has spent with us as a Minister-in-Training. Steven is traveling back to Michigan this week, to pursue the next chapter in his faithful journey. It would have been nice if we were able to have a full sanctuary—for both celebrations—but circumstances have made that pretty much impossible. We’ve had to find new, physically distant, ways to celebrate these life events.

As a pastor, my heart is to offer some word to you all that will inspire and give you some encouragement and hope, and maybe challenge you a little. What that word specifically becomes is dependent on a couple things—first, obviously, is that the Spirit of God needs to guide our conversation. So there’s a lot of prayer that goes into forming the message. The second thing is an awareness of what you all are going through. It’s important that the message speaks to where we all are and what we are experiencing. It’s the second part that I’ve been having trouble with. With all the quarantine stuff and the “social distancing,” I’ve felt a little cut off, a feeling I’m sure you’re all too familiar with as well. I don’t feel as connected as I normally do, and so I have to take my best guess about what you are going through, and try to speak to that experience. And I might be a little off target, and for that I hope you’ll forgive me. If you’re getting a little tired of me talking about the topics that keep coming up in my mind, hopefully we’ll have more to talk about in the weeks to come as we reconnect.