I frequently sit in the Commons to eat my lunch. I have enjoyed looking and reflecting on the painting by Dan Howard. Titled, “After Leonardo’s Magnum,” this painting is an abstract contemplation of DaVinci’s “Last Supper.” Black and white brush strokes suggest figures gathered around a flat surface. In the center of the painting, two shapes in color suggest a loaf of bread and a chalice. I find my attention drawn to the bread and cup, and I often find myself drawn into the painting, reflecting on the experience of the disciples. It’s very moving. I’m glad it is part of our collection at First Lutheran.
It’s fitting that this reflection on Jesus’ meal with his disciples should be just outside the Sanctuary where we celebrate Holy Communion each time we worship. During these past 14 months, many of us have stayed home, unable to join the community of believers around the Table of the Lord. Now we are beginning to get out more. I’m grateful that we can gather in limited numbers to worship.
Now we are taking another step toward being more fully open. Our COVID Task Force has recommended that we increase the numbers at worship to about half the seating capacity in the Sanctuary. We will no longer need to pre-register for Sunday worship – at least for the time being. We will still wear masks while in the building and we will still not sing aloud. The Task Force is examining some recent research for guidance in deciding when we can resume congregational singing.
All this is possible because you and the First Lutheran family – and the Lincoln community – have been so faithful in wearing masks, enduring isolation at times and honoring one another’s safety. The community is doing well at getting vaccinated; nearly half our adult population has received at least the first shot. We are getting close to defeating coronavirus disease and it’s tempting to cheer and relax our caution. But we have a good way to go before it’s over. So please continue wearing a mask and considering others around you. And, if you haven’t received the vaccine yet, please do.
At First Lutheran, we are a community of disciples of Jesus Christ working for the transformation of the world. Throughout our history, we have remained committed to drawing on our Lutheran (ELCA) tradition of using meaningful worship, content-rich learning and warm hospitality to care well for our congregation, the surrounding community and the world.