Community in Action September 11, 2020

When smoke gets in your eyes, just wait a day or two or a week or just move to the midwest, then it will disappear. So swimming times have been canceled more than three times this week and it is not because of the virus. The fires continue not only in California, but in Oregon, Washington, and Colorado.

    We have good friends who lived in Talent, Oregon and we still haven’t been able to get in touch with them. The news says Phoenix and Talent, Oregon were nearly wiped out by the fires. Our friends had horses, chickens, cats, and dogs which were mostly rescue animals. They helped us with vegan recipes and grew a lot of their own food. Their place was a special retreat were we celebrated Joan’s birthday more than once.

    The disruption this summer, not only with Covid, but with smoke and heat has seemed to keep us on edge constantly. Our worship service this Sunday will again be on Facebook Live and Youtube with no Outdoor Worship. Though businesses are slowly opening up it seems as we take one step forward then something else is thrown at us to move us two steps back.

    I am probably having more one on one conversations than I used to, because of this pandemic, this is the good result of our circumstance. The down side is that I have to talk on the phone or zoom or with a mask. The upside is that the common ground we find together is that we have to rely on faith, be it new faith in God or our renewed faith or our long term faith to help us through this.

    This weekend I will be exploring three positive facets of our faith which gives us the encouragement and the confidence that we are not been abandoned by God.

    This week we have lost loved ones and I was a part of two memorial events to celebrate the lives of those who have gone before us. Even in the midst of our sorrow we are able to affirm the good things we remember about our friends and we can give thanks to God for sustaining us during this disruptive time in our lives.

    Psalm 103 says, “Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits . . . For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who revere him . . . As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who revere him . . .The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.”

    Sometimes it may not seem God is truly ruling over this world, but then we have pretty much messed a lot of it up, but God is still here for us. We have the promise that Jesus is with us till the end of the age (Matthew 28:18-20). And so we are given comfort, consolation, and courage knowing we are not in this alone. We are loved beyond measure and God constantly brings to us joy, thankfulness, and peace.

    Let us experience those aspects of faith which God gives to us through his grace today and every day.

    Seeking bluer skies with you,

    Pastor Randy

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