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by Pastor Jason Kramme

On this Monday before Thanksgiving, many of you are heavy hearted.

You’re not sure where, but at some point in the last few weeks, Covid made it’s way into your sphere. Perhaps you received an email from your child’s school, or a text from the Minnesota Department of Health, or you can pinpoint a connection with a symptomatic person. The bottom line is that you know that you need to quarantine. Aside from the fear of what Covid could mean for your health, you’re going to miss Thanksgiving with your family.

Big exhale.

You’re not the only one in this situation. My family is considering plans for this year as well, so my heart goes out to you. As I’ve been processing this, an idea that has come back again and again is the difference between a comma and a period. You know, punctuation. Periods are used to end an idea. Heck they can end an entire story. They are powerful in that way. Commas, on the other hand, are transitional. They are loaded with possibility.

I think that our faith tradition is more of a comma tradition than a period tradition.

When it seemed that Abraham and Sarah’s life were going to end with disappointment, God put in a comma instead.

When it seemed that Peter’s life as a disciple was going to end in betrayal, God added a comma instead.

When it seemed that Jesus was going to stay in the grave, God added a comma instead.

For as difficult as 2020 has been, it isn’t unique in the grand scheme of human history or our lives. Our entire lives have been filled with moments that felt like they were final—closed like the end of a sentence. The good news in the wake of our current circumstances is that because of the power of the resurrection, we can trust that there will only ever be commas, though. That is true as you cancel plans. That is true as you make plans to bury loved ones. As Paul says in Romans, “surely if we have been united in a death like his, we will be united with him in his resurrection.”

If there ever was a time for Christians to be clear on their good news, this is it.

This week, as you are reflecting on your life and the ways in which poor circumstances feel final, consider what it might be like to put a comma there instead. This doesn’t mean we must eliminate or edit our emotions, let them come. They are essential to who we are. But, also let the truth of the resurrection come into your life as well. If you did that, then what could come next for you? What possibility is there to live into?


Jason Kramme is the Pastor of Spiritual Formation at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

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