Community in Action October 23, 2020

I just finished my time with my spiritual director. She asked me how I was feeling, I said, “Overwhelmed.” It is a good overwhelmed in that besides sermon preparation I have classroom preparation, we are welcoming and getting to know our new Youth Ministries Director, I am having discussions with people about racial concerns, listening to others who are struggling with spiritual and/or life concerns, and entering into the season of Thanksgiving, also known as the “Annual Stewardship Drive.”

    She asked me what are two things that help keep me grounded in my faith. After some thought I said, “First, Jesus is Lord.” Then as I thought a bit more I said, “Secondly, Peace will come because God is sovereign.” 

    “Jesus is Lord” is the most basic confession you can have as a Christian. It means that Jesus is master over all and I am not. The center of the universe does not revolve around me. Just because things go awry it is not because of me. Just because things go well it is certainly not because of me. I may have a hand in the chaos and I may have a hand in the joy, sometimes. There are a lot of things that happened that have nothing to do with me, even if you believe in the “Butterfly Effect” (something you can ask me about some time if you don’t know to what I am referring).

    I think most every one would agree that there is more than this physical world around us. There is a spiritual realm, perhaps another dimension, that we can catch a glimpse of now and then, but for the most part to which we hardly pay attention.

    Also it seems that in the midst of all of the chaos around us amazing, wondrous, serendipitous, we think, events occur and they are not just because of chance. Someone is orchestrating the check that comes in the mail unexpectedly or the gas station that appears on the road just as the gauge hits empty or the running into a friend with whom you have longed to chat. There is something, or more likely, someone who is helping things happen that are “good.”

    The second thought I had of “Peace will come because God is sovereign” is my unflagging hope for the future. Some may call it heaven, I would call it the pinnacle of creation. Someday we will have every tear wiped away and every scar healed and every relationship reconciled. Someday we will learn the essence of community is not just a gathering of random folks from various backgrounds and experiences, nor is it a closed tribe which is enmeshed in its group hug. Community is that for which we are made and in that which we can flourish.

    So as I finish my preparation for my message and put on the final touches for my class I look forward to being with as many of you as I can either through cyberspace or among the grasses of our courtyard. I look forward to proclaiming the leader of our faith and experiencing, for a moment, the peace of our creator, with you this Sunday.

    Seeking shalom with you,

    Pastor Randy

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