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Pastoral Thoughts

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I pray each of you are staying safe and well during this time of uncertainty and disruption. For me it has been a strange time as I am not able to visit or speak to you in person or greet you on Sunday morning. In fact this past Sunday felt more like Monday to me! I had to be reminded several times that it wasn’t Tuesday! Everything seems a bit off, no traffic, no stores or restaurants open. Business closed or having folks work from home. Life has been disrupted and reoriented. We have to use our time differently, restrict our time out of our homes, separation from family and friends. The ones who are having the most fun are our pets as they have our attention and time more than ever. We now live in the space they always live in. We are all now, more or less, home bound.

So how do we cope? I suppose each of us have different answers to that question. Some may read more, clean more, work in the yard, surf the internet, spend more time on the phone and hopefully spend more time with God in prayer and reading the Bible. Most of us are accustom to routines which give structure and order to our days and weeks. Now that routine is completely changed. We are restricted in what we can do and where we can go. Yes it feels strange and uncomfortable for most.

One of my favorite passages of the Bible is Matthew 11:28-30: 28

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." New International Version 

 Jesus invites us to come to Him, for comfort, rest, reassurance, and hope. Gentle and humble in heart Jesus enters our soul and heart to take away any fear or unease so we can find a respite, a place of comfort and true peace. Verse 30 makes the point that Jesus is the one who guides us and protects us as a farmer does to their animals, the yoke is a term of putting upon us a custom fitted harness to let us know that Jesus is guiding our lives and faith. He was a carpenter so the yoke is made carefully just for us. We seldom hear Jesus speak of being a burden so why now? I think because he knows we all carry burdens in life, many of which are heavy and difficult. But Jesus’ burden or call is not heavy or difficult. His call is full of light to lead our way and reassure us. So much in so few words. Jesus comes to the point and offers exactly what we need and desire.

Please be careful during this time, limit your contact with others, wash your hands and reach out to someone when you feel lonely or isolated. Reach out to me at any time of day or night if you need to talk or just hear another voice. And of course reach out to Jesus to comfort and lead you through this strange and challenging times.

One of my fondest prayers is one said at Matins, the early morning worship in the church. The prayer is: O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Please know and be comforted by these words and know deep in your soul that Jesus is leading and supporting you in this uncertain time.

With Prayers of Blessing and Safety,

Pastor Stan

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