Community in Action January 27, 2021

You have turned my mourning 

into joyful dancing. 

You have taken away my clothes of mourning 

and clothed me with joy, 

that I might sing praises to you 

and not be silent. 

O Lord my God, 

I will give you thanks forever!

    Psalm 30:11-12

    Even though some restrictions have been lifted from our Shelter-in-Place it still seems there is a cloud of unknowing hanging over our heads. Even though we hear vaccinations are on their way, the line is long and there seems to be some reactions to these vaccines. Even though the rain has come to help the drought stay away the rain has not been constant.

    As we move into 2021 the hope of the ship righting itself seems to be more of a dream than a reality. We still are tossed on the waves because friends are becoming infected, jobs are hard to secure, and our hope for fellowship is held in abeyance.

    Yet, we are met at each of those junctures by moments of joy and smiles break through our dour faces. The children around us say some exuberant expression which takes us by surprise and the sun comes out and we are clothed again in expectation and hope.

    I often remember the first line in the book The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck, “Life is difficult.” We can forget that we are walking in a time between the first coming and the second coming of Jesus. We are traveling through the Kingdom of God that is here, but not fully here yet. The victory has been won, but the defeat has not been fully realized.

    I find that I need to focus on those pockets of joy, those times of embrace, and those moments of hope. I can easily go down that path which seems to only spiral downwards, but God does not leave us there.

    Romans 8:37, “No, in all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” We have been given a glimpse of the Savior of the world and death, the darkness, the desolation, has been cast away, it has lost its grip on us.

    As we bring our struggles, concerns, and disappointments to God so we will be reminded that there is nothing to separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39), for it was his love which brought us a lifeline, a ladder, and light out of the darkness.

    Let us not forget our redemption and our promise of forever relationship with the Master of the universe. We will not only survive, we will thrive, we will overcome because we are the people of the God, most high. Do not lose the revelation of our sonship or daughtership from our heavenly parent. “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.” Ephesians 1:5

    Let us give thanks for the grace, mercy, and love God offers us, we only need to receive it and keep our eyes on the prize (Philippians 3:14).

    On the journey with you,

    Pastor Randy

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