The peace of God

The world is a scary place. Even more so now. People are frightened of catching this new virus. In reality, so am I. My husband and I are in a vulnerable part of the population being older.

The truth is we can’t spend all of our time being afraid. Things happen every day and something that goes wrong may have nothing to do with Corona Virus. We have to keep our perspective. God has promised to be with us not matter what. We need to spend our time focusing on good things and not spend our time in fear. God’s peace with uphold us.

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“Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8-9).

Down the rabbit hole

down the rabbit hole.

In order to get the most from our faith we have to dive in. Like Alice we need to jump down the rabbit hole. Immersed in scripture and fellowship with other Christians we can plumb the depths of God’s plan for us.

Down the rabbit hole can be a scary place and jumping down can feel like letting go of everything that feels safe but it is the way to draw closer to God. Take that leap.

God never moves

If God seems far from you who has moved? unknown

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God never moves. No matter how you feel…whether lost or alone…God never moves. Sometimes our emotions and feelings get in the way and we feel deserted. Down in the depths of darkness when we can’t see, can’t pray, immobilized, God is still there with us. We have to remember that.

 

 

 

 

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who maintains covenant loyalty with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,
Psalm 23:4
Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[d]
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

God knows our names

But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for Ihave redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.
When my granddaughter was baptized the church made a full size banner that had her name on it and that quote. I have never forgotten it. Whenever I wonder if God knows that I am here or that any member of my family is here I remember that.
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Come, thou long expected Jesus

December 4 

from the Hymn Come, thou long expected Jesus,

 

adventCome, thou long expected Jesus,

Born to set thy people free;

From our fears and sins release us,

Let us find our rest in thee.

 

Sometimes, when things are overwhelming, I just want to rest. I want to sit quietly in a chair, my hands falling over the armrests, my head laid back, my eyes closed and most of all my mind still.

It’s harder and harder to get my mind still. It’s filled with so much stuff !! So many things to think about…. So many worries… money, family, job.. relationships, etc. etc. I can’t rest… I can’t stop thinking.

And yet, if only I would put my worries in your hands… let my mind dwell on you… I just might manage to find that place of calm.

Prayer: God of compassion, lead me to that place of calm. ..the place where you will free my mind from all the things I can’t let go. Help me to sit there with you in perfect peace and let you soothe my cares and give me rest. AMEN

 

Faith is everything!

Today I was watching part of “The Crown.” It is a popular series on Netflix. I often have things just out at me that you don’t think of finding in a docudrama. In series 3 Phillip (queen’s husband) is talking with his mother. She had a horribly difficult life and has recently been brought to England because of uprisings in Greece. She was a nun running a small clinic in Greece.

She asks Phillip about his faith. He tells her it is “dormant.”

Her reply is: “Find yourself a faith. It helps….No not just helps….it is everything!”

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I do so agree with this statement. Having a faith that supports and nurtures you when everything around you is falling apart is everything. It is the one thing that allows you to rest in the strong arms of God and be held. God will be with you through any crisis…small or enormous. His love will fill your heart and soul and bring you peace.

God is there

I have often wondered how people manage to get along without some sort of faith. I definitely could not be an atheist. When things go wrong I need someone to share it with me. I have friends who do but sharing it with God is different. There is something special about leaning on God and knowing that I am loved and understood. I don’t know what people do who don’t have anything to fall back on. In my darkest moments I am held up and cared for. For me, God is there and always will be.

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God in Jesus is unchangable

Religion tends to prefer and protect the status quo or the supposedly wonderful past, yet what we now see is that religion often simply preserves its own power and privilege. God does not need our protecting. We often worship old things as substitutes for eternal things.

Richard Rohr

I-Change-Not-CLCBCOnline-www.clcbconline.com_

A study that I attended was about  how people view God. Each of us has our own view and to define it can be difficult. There are some people for who God is part of something visual. They may feel closer to God in the church they have attended all their lives. The only difficulty comes when something in that building is changed. The connection can be shaken. That is why changing something we have associated with our faith all our lives can be so distressing.

We can’t stay connected to the past. We have to live in the present. The words of the service may change, the building may change but our faith must stay connected to Jesus Christ himself.

Judgement is the Lord’s

For we know the one who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Hebrews 10:30-31 NRSV

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We all know people that we would love to have suffer for the wrongs that they have done. We would love to see evil befall them. However, God tells us that no matter how much we want to see them suffer it is not our place to take vengeance.

So many evils in this world come abut because of someone’s selfish, uncaring ways. People are hurt or seriously damaged and we can’t understand how they can get away with continuing to live that way and nothing happens. It seems that the good suffer and the evil thrive. How can God let this happen. That is one of the most difficult questions but part of the hope we see is here in these verses. It is definitely fearful to fall into the hands of the living God and have to answer for how we lived. Trust the Lord.

Prayer: Loving God, help us to trust you to render judgement. Remind us that is not our place but yours. We are called to forgive instead of seeking vengeance. Help us to follow in the ways of our Lord, Jesus Christ. AMEN

 

NO fear

The 23rd Psalm has so much wisdom. We seldom stop to think about it. We just recite it because we have done it so often. Tonight I have been thinking about this part of it.

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Psalm 23: 4 NRSV

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,[d]
    I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
    your rod and your staff—
    they comfort me.

or from The Message

Even when the way goes through
    Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
    when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
    makes me feel secure.

I have always wondered about the rod and staff. In our time that image didn’t mean much. Now I see it as someone strong and caring walking with me….someone who will keep me safe no matter what. Walking with God I have no fear.