Singing hymns through masks, Christians mark pandemic Easter

Parishioners gather on a beach for an Easter Sunday service at sunrise hosted by Hope Community Church of Manasquan, Sunday, April 4, 2021, in Manasquan, N.J. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

The North Star, situated at the end of the little dipper, is a faithful friend to travellers and sailors alike.

It was also the guiding star that brought slaves to the North escaping to freedom from the injustice and brutality of the southern plantations.

Old folk songs were created about the star and how to, "Follow the Drinking Gourd" to freedom.

Faithfulness can be a difficult word to describe.

Faithfulness is demonstrated in many ways through people who use their time, talents and resources to care for others and invest in their lives.

Faithfulness is demonstrated when we do what we say, show up, and give our best effort. It is then that beautiful things can happen.

This week, I had the opportunity to see faithfulness in many remarkable ways. I journeyed with a good friend who was caring for his wife through the last days of her life.

We sat for many hours, tears flowing, we talked, and he shared his journey and how God has been so faithful to them despite the many medical challenges.

Faithfulness is seen in the way God stepped into their lives.

Faithfulness was constantly demonstrated through this remarkable couple who were always there for each other. It was their friendship with each other and ultimately with God that has carried them through.

God’s character is faithfulness; He will always do what he promises. We can trust him and have faith — He is our North Star.

I sat in Kelowna General Hospital for four days and witnessed the rhythm of faithfulness at work. I observed the faithfulness of the dedicated staff, night and day, and how they were compassionate, kind and helpful.

The nurses who spoke kind words and the volunteers who gave their time as you entered the main entrance to check us in. Faithfulness was seen in those around me, dedicated doctors, baristas, the cleaners quietly taking the garbage bin in our room full of fast food containers.

Faithfulness was witnessed when our faith community prayed for the family through the dark nights, sending encouraging messages and holding the family close.

All this under such difficult circumstances of a pandemic.

I am thankful for such a faithful place that offers support and care to our community.

I’m grateful to Christ, who is a friend that is always faithful. He is not a shooting star that comes and goes like so many new spiritual ideas, no,

He is our rock, our safe place.

Be encouraged with this verse today, “Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” — Lamentations 3:22-23.

Phil Collins is a pastor at Willow Park Church in Kelowna.