The world is a hurting place. As I write this, there have been yet more school shootings, more tragic confrontations between black and white people in our country, more undocumented immigrants coming into sanctuary to keep their families together, more violence along the Palestinian-Israeli border, peace on the edge of a knife in North & South Korea, worsening of climate issues in our world . . . and so many more. Sometimes it can feel too overwhelming and we just want to turn the newspaper over, close the news app, turn off the podcast, stay in the house. I need a word of hope – how about you?
But this hurting world is exactly the place Jesus came into with his message of Good News – and where his message has power for us still today:
Then Jesus cried aloud: “Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.” (John 12:44-47)
As Christians, we believe that this is why God our Creator came into time and history in Jesus, and returns to us available always through the Holy Spirit. We are the hands and feet and face of God to a hurting world and to each other, and we are needed now more than ever! We don’t have to know the right words to say – we just need to pray and show up, and God will do the rest.
I have seen so many of you putting yourselves out there to respond along with me and Pastor Pam – with prayer, education programs, rallies and marches – and I want to affirm you and lift you up:
For every prayer shawl knit to comfort by one of us – for every prayer uttered by each of you for the world – for every step towards becoming a Green Church in the Mass Conference UCC – for every rally attended and speaker heard through the Social Justice and Environmental Justice Teams – for every book read and curriculum launched on White Privilege and Racial Justice by the Adult Ed Team – for every young family brought together to learn about God & play here – for every youth group that serves and does mission and talks to government leaders – for every non-profit helping people supported by Women’s Benevolent and Mission Team – for every worship led and every bread & cup of the Lord shared by ushers and Deacons – for every quiet visit at a bedside by Called to Care and hot meal delivered by the Meal Train and our cooks for Loaves & Fishes – for church leadership and property team and landscaping to keep this building a place where people of faith can gather and be inspired – we are embodying God’s promise to the world in Jesus Christ.
Thank you for an amazing church year of being the Good News Jesus came bringing – may the summer bring refreshment and rejuvenation, and new ways of being church for us. I look forward to what God is doing in us later today and tomorrow too! See you there . . .