The world can feel like it’s exploding or falling apart.
We need accurate news sources.
We need to learn history from reliably good sources. And keep learning.
We need to breathe and take time to reflect and not just react.
We need to love everyone.
Maybe this is a good time to reflect on theology? What does the word God mean to you? Is God…
- the designer and controller of all that happens?
- the power of love?
- the goodness at the heart of the universe?
May the happenings in the world and in our country just strengthen our resolve to be the most loving, the most grounded in God’s love, the most God-infused we can possibly be.
We need church. We need companions with whom to sing and pray and learn.
You can stop here. Of course. 😊 But if you have more time, keep reading…
I received a gift this past week that I want to pass on to you. “The gift must always move.” Some beautiful wisdom, a reminder to us all. It’s from Eugene Peterson’s book The Message, from his introduction to the prophet Ezekiel. His introduction may be better than his translation (!).
When you hear this, think about not just the people of Israel and Palestine and Ukraine, but other places in the world too, Sudan and Somalia, and the United States of America. (We are also in a crisis time in our country.) Peterson says:
Catastrophe strikes and a person’s world falls apart. People respond variously but two of the most common responses are denial and despair. Denial refuses to acknowledge the catastrophe. Despair is paralyzed by the catastrophe and accepts it as the end of the world.
Among biblical writers Ezekial is our master at dealing with catastrophe. When catastrophe struck Israel in the 6th century BCE denial was the primary response. Ezekiel found himself living among a people of God who (astonishingly similar to us!) stubbornly refused to see what was going on before their eyes. (The denial crowd.) There were also some who were unwilling to see anything other than what was right before their eyes. (The despair crowd.) But Ezekiel saw. He saw what the people with whom he lived either couldn’t or wouldn’t see. God at work in a catastrophic era.
The denial people refused to see that a catastrophe was unfolding. Ezekial showed them that, yes, this was a catastrophe, but God was at work in the catastrophe. He showed them that they would be able to embrace God in the worst of times.
The despair people, overwhelmed by devastation, refused to see that life was worth living. He showed them that God was at work in the wreckage and rubble, sovereignly using the disaster to create a new people of God.
Whether through denial or despair, the people of God nearly lost their identity as a people of God. But they didn’t. God’s people emerged from that catastrophic century robust and whole.
It made me tear up when I read this. I needed to share it with you.
Rev. Sarah Campbell