Word From The Pastor
It is s February already! Sometimes I am amazed at how quickly time seems to fly by. January has been a busy month, personally, at church, and for the Nation. As we moved from Christmas into Epiphany the eyes of many turned toward the coming inauguration of a new leader for our nation.
While this happens every four years, and is always accompanied by much fanfare and interest, this year it also created a great deal of apprehension for some. Those folks with concerns were worried if our new President would make good on many of his campaign promises. For them, those promises do not align with the teachings of Christ as they understand those teachings, or with their understanding of what America means.
At the same time, there were others who looked forward to the new president with great hope. Hope for change back to a perceived “better times” when there were more jobs, and less tension in the nation.
With the swearing in last week, we have begun to see what direction the new administration is taking, and it has done nothing to lessen the anxieties of those who were concerned, and has even started to create some concern for many who had been hopeful.
As a result we are continuing in unsettled times, and many are expressing concern for the months ahead. Scripture can provide us with comfort and guidance during such times. We can also find uplifting words used by others from the past to sustain hope for the future. Words that were shared at other times when the future was uncertain. For example, the following comes from Martin Luther King, Jr, in April 1968, a time when much of the Nation was in turmoil over civil rights, poverty concerns, the Vietnam War and the threat of Nuclear War.
"Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!And so I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man!Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!"
Sadly. King was assassinated the very next day, but those words of hope, of faith in God’s promises and of recognition that the struggle which lay ahead would bear fruit, have meant so much to so many since they were uttered. Today, we can keep that same kind of faith in God’s Promises, even as we recognize that difficult and contentious times may lie ahead. If we keep our focus on God and Jesus and Jesus and everything he came to teach us, we can live in peace and hope even when there is such discord in the nation.
Jesus teaches us to love those we disagree with; to seek peace with our brothers and ways to end our disagreements. Most importantly Jesus taught us to honor God above all else.
Whatever one’s political view, nationality, race, gender or any other identity we can conjure up that might cause separation and discord, - the truth is we are all Children of God – and if we keep our focus on God we can find ways to live together in Peace while living out the Gospel.
So let us look forward to the coming months not as dark days, but as days that challenge us to proclaim the message of the Gospel to a world sorely in need of Good News. The times ahead will be times to share in Christ’s Way with other, to speak of hope and fruitfulness of the spirit at work in our lives, even as we see difficulties surrounding us.
May we go forward with a spirit that allows us to join with King in saying these words: “And so I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man! Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!!"
Pastor Doug Mackey