The Pastor’s Corner – June 2014
So there is hope for your descendants,”
declares the Lord.
“Your children will return to their own land. Jeremiah 31: 17
As school comes to an end for our school-aged children and we enter into the more relaxed pace of summer you might think that our pace at the church will also slow down a bit. Not so says your pastor. There is much going on during the month of June. We will end the Easter season and celebrate Pentecost. We will have our first Unity Sunday with UPCNK on the first day of this month. For some, including me, there will be the ministry of Vacation Bible School (FUPCT for me as I portray Moses for a week). There will also be the return of our summer Vesper services at the picnic grounds. And finally, we will conclude our study on the book of Job.
Job has been an interesting study as it speaks to the human condition. As the ‘Easter people,’ we are those with hope even in the midst of great human suffering, our own in many cases and from a broader perspective, the suffering of God’s children worldwide. Suffering of course is not new. Many within our congregation can remember well the 1060’s. Racial tensions were tearing the nation apart. Civil rights activists were suffering, some to the point of death. The Vietnam conflict claimed thousands of our soldiers and many questioned why we were there in the first place. To our own shame, many returned from Vietnam and felt outcast and unwelcomed. Suffering upon suffering for those who came back wounded in body, mind our spirit. It was within this climate that Bill and Gloria Gaither sought to write a song with lasting answers to the turmoil of the human spirit. As they tried to put their combined creative abilities together, suffering was thrust upon both of them in the form of medical issues. While praying about their conditions and seeking God’s direction for the song they came to realize that our courage does not come from a stable world. As the book of Job teaches us, the world has never been stable. Jesus was born in the cruelest of times and suffered through the betrayal and the abandonment of His friends. He suffered in our stead upon the cross to pay the price for our sin. Suffering is not new and we might find ourselves asking if things are this bad now, what will it be like for our children and grandchildren. We might ask it, but we also have babies, raise families and risk living life as a Christian because we are the Easter people, we know the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior is true.
The Gaither’s in the midst of their medical issues had a baby boy. They named him Benjamin which means most beloved son. The blessing this son brought to them led the a verse in a song that has become one of our traditional hymns used as we conclude our worship services; “Because He Lives.” We will remember the verse that reads;
How sweet to hold a newborn baby
And feel the pride and joy he gives
But greater still, the calm assurance –
This child can face uncertain days because He lives.
Many among us have faced some hard times. Others still will have, just like Job, some unexpected hard times ahead of them. Through it all we are the Easter people and we are assured that He came to “love, head and forgive.” Thanks be to God!
Blessings & Peace,