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PASTORAL THOUGHTS

It is an understatement to say, but I will none the less, the world has changed and continues to change it seems each week if not each day. The year started fairly normally and then in March we found out that all would change with the COVID-19 outbreak. Stay at home orders, closing of stores, restaurants, offices, schools and even houses of worship. In fact our lives have been completely changed! Now this past week with all the protests and riots in our cities and again the world has changed. Now not many of us like change very much, but these changes have been beyond our control.

In truth we will not return to the normal we knew but to a new normal that is yet unknown. So not only change but uncertainty, it can be all overwhelming. How are we to cope, to adjust to such rapid and complete change? In times like this we turn to the Word of God for help and strength as we are called to do. The Pentecost Gospel reading were the last words spoken by Jesus to his disciples in Matthew’s Gospel,

All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28: 18-20)

These are words of hope and assurance. This world will change and challenge us, but Jesus is with us always, always! This is the assurance we need and yearn to have along with the assurance we are here for each other. We are people of faith who hold to the certainty of Jesus’ love and presence. FDR famously said, ‘We have nothing to fear but fear itself.’ So true then and true now. Yet we of faith need not fear as we have reality of the risen Jesus who has defeated death and promises LIFE! Life in a pandemic! Life in uncertainty! Life during times of instability! We have LIFE, the life of Jesus’ presence. Know we will get through this and whatever comes our way because we have Jesus. We have each other. We have hope and strength. If you have a moment of fear, of uncertainty, of loneliness, of sadness reach out to God in prayer and to those who can provide words of comfort and support. Reach out to your sisters and brothers in Christ. Reach out to me. Together with Jesus and each other we will persevere, we will triumph, and we will rise up and fly on eagles wings.

Don’t take my word for it, take the word of Jesus. His word is sure and true. May God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit be with you and within you. With prayers for Peace and Blessings, Pastor Stan