June 12, 2020by Reverend Dan on June 12, 2020
“And who knows that you have come to your position for such a time as this.”
Alright, I have to admit. Seminary didn’t prepare me for this.
Being a pastor during “normal” times is hard enough. Sermons and hospital visits and weddings and funerals and counseling and church administration. Too much to do, too few hours.
Then add a worldwide pandemic. Watching folks argue about the church opening too soon, or not soon enough. Do we wear masks or is social distancing enough? What’s going to happen with the economy? How much longer before a vaccine? How much longer until a cure? What’s going to happen if it comes back?
And then Minneapolis and George Floyd. Racial tensions are at an all-time high. Protests and looting and shootings. The National Guard being mobilized.
Nope, never talked about anything like this in seminary. I’m not sure where to turn some days.
The good news is that I know someone I can always turn to: God. It may be hard to hear Him with all the voices screaming for attention. It may be that we won’t like the answers we will hear from Him. But from my view, we’re at a point where there’s nowhere else to turn. (Isn’t it a shame that we have to get to this point to turn to Him? What would happen if He was the first place we turned?)
The people in the government are too busy with political infighting and partisan politics and upcoming elections to make a difference; that’s been proven. There is no unified mechanism to turn to; hundreds of organizations are lobbying that their way is the only way, and in the end, they work against another. Even religions are at odds about how to worship and how to bring everyone together and face the challenges of our world.
Thousands of years ago, God created the world. He created it out of the love and mercy and the goodness of His being. And in that world, He created human beings, all in His image, to populate one small planet in a vast galaxy. It was paradise. But it didn’t last. Those people he created rebelled against Him. He gave them everything except the fruit of one tree, but everything wasn’t enough. Their greed and pride and need to be their own god destroyed a perfect existence.
Two thousand years ago, God had seen enough. The sin of the people had taken them so far from Him that they would never be able to find their way back. But instead of wiping out the entire creation and starting over, He decided that He’d take it on Himself to set it right. He’d pay the ransom and free the people He had created. Even if it cost Him the life of His only Son. And it did.
You know, as I read those last two paragraphs, I stand corrected. Maybe seminary did prepare me for such a time as this. Turning to God’s grace and mercy, becoming immersed in His Word, remembering our heritage and history as Christians – all those things we discussed at graduate school – they’re still the core of what matters. God’s love and mercy is big enough for all the problems of the world. We just have to remember where to turn.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His Glory and Grace.
“Father, Remind us to always keep our eyes focused heavenward on Christ Jesus. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”