In seasons such as this, with the church getting ready to host our Regional Conference, local and national elections getting closer and closer, and fall activities demanding so much of our time and attention, there is plenty of reason to get caught up in a feeling of urgency. Things must get done, or surely everything will fall apart.
In these times, it benefits us to take a moment to breathe, and simply trust.
Through the message from Sunday’s sermon, here’s a reminder that God is working through all things, and all we have to do is to open ourselves to trust and compassion.
“There is plenty of ‘realism’ in our world today. There are plenty of examples in which the facts show that nothing else can be done; there are only lose-lose options. Situations in which the damage has been done and it seems like the only thing left to do is to bury the dead, without hope for a good life afterwards, as the widow must have felt. There are plenty of hard decisions to be made based on even harder facts. War-torn countries for which there are no good solutions. Limited finances with which a government or a family cannot meet all needs. Churches that are facing fewer participants and finding that they cannot do ministry in the way that they have been used to doing it. Disaster that tears up communities. Diagnosis of sickness; sudden tragedy that changes lives forever.
“And yet. Jesus still comes to us. Jesus creates for us a new reality. Another pastor writes: ‘Today’s passages assert that faith opens us to new dimensions of reality…Willingness to trust God despite appearances opens us to new possibilities, new energies, and a great sense of vocation. This is not denial of the harsh realities of life – economic shortfalls, conflict, mortality – but the recognition that these realities are not the whole story. Within the concreteness and limitations of life, unexpected possibilities may emerge. God’s gentle providence brings forth possibilities where we only see limitations.’ (Bruce Epperly)
“Jesus may not meet us at the graveside, stepping in at the last minute to reverse those too-real facts and make a horrible thing untrue. But, Jesus tells us good news anyway. Jesus calls us in the same way that he called the widow’s son to Rise.
“The dead in today’s world may not rise, but dying spirits may be revitalized. Our prayers and our actions may not have the dramatic responses that we read about here, but they surely make a difference. We are partners with God in the everyday healings that may be more life-and-world-transforming with every single time they are practiced, with every second and year that goes by.”