Reflect

Reflect

Author: Joan Harman
September 09, 2021

Whatever our dispensation in the personal, civic, or political realm, this week has been a heart bruiser.  If we weren't Christian, what adjectives would we use to describe the events of the end of August, beginning of September?  Shameful/triumphal, necessary/ridiculous, brutally expensive/worth every dollar, devastating/a reason to move forward, expected/surprising, the logical conclusion of many choices/missed opportunities to turn that trajectory. 

Pastor Frank made a strong point early in his sermon last Sunday that how we treat others matters, quoting from James Ch. 2:  Fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture that we should love our neighbor as ourselves.  As a practicing Christian, my go-to in the Trinity in times of distress is the Holy Spirit.   As gospel writer John reports Jesus' last words to his disciples before his crucifixion, Jesus gives us assurances about this Spirit (Paraclete/helper).  Pastor Frank said that God is always telling us, "I gotcha!"  For me, I am able to understand that through Spirit's help 'God will give us light in our heart when our eyes see only darkness.'  In a paraphrase of Isaiah 49, I can expect to be part of the restorative/enlightening process because God chose me.  Where I see mountains of problems, God says, "I will make each of my mountains a road."

I am not naive about this difficult time we live in.  I have lost some unsustainable optimism.  However, I am confident.  By living with the Spirit's help, I am confident that what I choose to do now can make a difference in our future.  Since we are people of faith, how do we absorb/deflect/re-work last week?  Can we believe that even poor plans made by us can be used to fit into God's goal for our world that it shall be good?

Because this is a devotional writing for my fellow
congregants, let me just suggest a few passages from the Bible to consider. In each case, I would ask us to keep in mind that each of these is a part of a larger story of reconciliation and restoration.  So, as we take these as small hints of how we might act, have confidence that what we do, and risk are parts of larger reconciliations and restorations.  And God says, "I gotcha!"

Genesis 27:41 to Gen. 33 This is a family feud that erupted in hatred and bitterness.  In chapter 33, Esau is coming in familial love and reconciliation to meet Jacob.

Exodus 2:4-10 and Numbers 26:59 Because of early obedience and later faithfulness two siblings' support system allowed Moses to be the Big Kahuna.

1Samuel 25: 14-44 Abigail offers food that is desperately needed by the men who have aid ed her wealthy, arrogant husband's shepherds.

Numbers 27 The daughters of Zelophehad had the courage to stand before Moses and all the congregation to demand the land allotment that was rightfully due their father's heirs.

Matthew 2: Wise men from the east provided precious resources for the poor parents of a baby when they were all in danger from King Herod's wrath.

Luke 23:51 After Jesus was dead, Joseph of Arimathea appeared before Pilate.  This Roman Governor had sentenced Jesus to be crucified.  Joseph asked for custody of the body.

Acts 9:23-25   A few disciples risked hoisting Paul over the city wall of Damascus, in a basket and at night.

If other passages speak to you, please share.
With thanks for ideas from Pastor Frank's sermon,                
Blessings,
Joan K. Harman <><<><
 joanharmank@gmail.com


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