What a blow we had a month ago! The trees down all-around town, damage to our own church building, siding peeled off and other damage to buildings in the area. Some of those trees are pretty good sized! Go look at the Southeast corner of the church property.
Storms come into all our lives. Sometimes, they’re of our own doing; but there are times when, in the midst of life, things just happen. People often look about for blame and “why” of a crisis or hard time. Ask a guy named “Job” about that way of thinking. What caught my eye and raised my spirit was the way neighbor reached out to neighbor. How members of the church came together and worked hard to clean up and set things straight again. After all the clutter and damage, people looked about and sought to lend a hand to one another. Especially the elderly and those who might not have the resources to do so.
Many of our shut-ins had helping hands just “show up” and start clearing. Kindness, compassion, selflessness are deeply infused into the character of Christ and the expressions of love Jesus askes us to show to one another.
In the gospel of Mark, a group of friends bring a friend to Jesus so he might be healed. The crowd around Jesus is so large that they can’t get through. The friends then take the one to the roof, tear it open and lower him down so that Jesus might heal him. In the scripture it says, “When Jesus saw their (the friends) faith,....” And Jesus heals the man. Notice Jesus does so because of the faith of the friends, not because of what the paralytic did or said. We bring forth the Commonwealth of Christ in the works of kindness and the actions of Justice!
We are doing Holy work and allowing ripple effects of the eternal to spread out into the everyday when we help, give of our time in kindness, listen to one who needs to share and an ear to hear. Jesus says that simply giving water to one who is thirsty is a work of grace and expands & augments to the Kingdom of God!
Not only the shared work in restoration but the way people saw “silver linings” in the events of that day and those following. Yes, a hole was punched through the roof of the Multipurpose room of the church, but large branches of another tree brushed the window in the sanctuary that is behind the organ. It did damage to the gutter and soffit but didn’t even scratch the window! Had that window broken and the sheets of heavy rain that were falling almost sideways poured onto that organ....?? Oy! And in all that wind, strong enough to blow over and pull up large trees by the roots, I’ve yet to hear of loss of life. Yay, God!
Even in the midst of the storm, God is with us and not one thing can separate us from God’s love. “Yea, though I walk in the darkest valley....”. In the midst of the storms of life it is good to be woven together as church community in the grace of our Lord, Jesus. Who we claim to be Christ of our lives.
Be God’s, Pastor Jim