Community in Action August 24, 2020

Well it looks like we made a good call for yesterday to have worship virtual and inside. We are expecting to try Outdoor Worship again this next Sunday, August 30th. Please sign-up for this next weekend.

    I hope you were able to celebrate with us as Allison Baker was baptized during the service. I also hope you had a chance to remember your baptism. As I mentioned, if you were baptized as an infant that is not any less effective, but I hope you were able to confirm you commitment as a follower later on.

    This year is taking a toll on all of us and it is harder to keep those minor irritations at bay, which used to be so small, but when heaped upon our every day concern of the spread of the virus, the encroaching wildfires, and civil unrest tend to loom so much larger.

    Just today after I pulled in front of a driver to exit from highway 580 we met at the next stop light. He gave me a lecture with his moving hands and shaking head. I didn’t think what had happened was a problem, but he certainly did. As soon as the light changed he sped off, but in the next two blocks he slowed down to turn in to the market where he was going.

    I was about 10 seconds behind him on Dublin Blvd, so I must not have caused him to be too much later than he had planned. But I can also understand his irritation. I too have had people going slower than I would like in front of me. I too have been frustrated with traffic at inopportune times. Yet, I too need to remember we all need a bit more grace during this pandemic, smoky, tense time.

    So I take a deep breath, cough a little bit from the smoke, and remind myself that this too will pass. I try to think of things I can do which will bring me joy, be it watering the garden, straightening up the garage, or breaking down those accumulating boxes that need to go into the recycle bin.

    I started reading a biography on Frederick Douglass this week. I think my life has been difficult these last few months, how about being a slave for a couple of decades? How about not even knowing who your father is? Or even being sent away from your mother, siblings, and cousins at the age of seven or eight?

    The resilience of this man and the way he rose above his difficult circumstances is inspiring. But one thing I noticed is that he had helpers along the way. He had people who loved him, cared for him, and taught him.

    This man who became an amazing spokesperson for his race did not become that way overnight. It was years of learning, years of support from others, and grasping opportunities which were never squandered to help him answer the call God gave him.

    So, we too, during this time, need to rely on others and support others. We too need to receive the care and concern from others and learn to give it to those who are in desperate need. We too, have a calling.

    As I mentioned yesterday in the letter to the Philippians Paul continues to press on toward his upward calling. In that letter he also encouraged the Philippians, and us, not to stop running the race. We too need to press on towards our call.

    If we do this it will make the difficulties, the hard things, the inconveniences less of an irritation. And the people who cross our paths will, instead of being irritates, be opportunities to help us grow into our calling God.

    Let us press on with the courage and strength God and our community gives us so we will not falter or give up, but rise up to meet the challenge of 2020.

    Running the race with you,

    Pastor Randy

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