JKPC

Community in Action July 29, 2020

I love light. I love to walk into a room that has lots of windows, especially windows that look out into fields or forests or fantastic sights. I love watching the birds fly back and forth as I gaze through the window. I love watching them splash in the water fountains we have. But there are other things which seem to interrupt this revery.

    So is your life turned upside down yet? Have you realized that normal is not going to happen real soon if at all? Do you wish for the days before when all seemed right with the world? These are questions running through my head most days in the last few weeks.

    It is not easy to accept life is messy. It is not easy to admit that what we once thought was stable in our life can be disrupted beyond our thinking. All that we thought was smooth is now bumpy, but we have hope.

    Yes, as Christians we have someone we can rely on to get us through these difficult times. We have not only our Lord, but our community to help us walk through this valley. We have a book and people to remind us that all this is not right can be and will be.

    As I have been listening to people around me who are struggling with all the upheaval in our world I was grieved. I thought about how the things that we used to do which brought us a sense of comfort, of peace, and of joy, now seem distant. Then I realized that this comfort, peace, and joy can still come in the midst of our outer, and inner turmoil.

    I looked up the word Joy in the Bible and found 242 references to joy or joyful. As I perused the uses the one that struck me is found in Nehemiah 8. The book Nehemiah is about the time when the people came back from exile. They came back to their home land after being banished for fifty years. They have come back to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, to reestablish their home, their community, and their life.

    In chapter 8 they have just heard the Law of the Lord read to them and they are sorrowful for all they have done that was against the law. They are weeping when the Levites tell them not to weep. The Levites tell them this is the day of the Lord, this is a holy day.

    Nehemiah goes on to tell them in verse 10, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

    Nehemiah reminds them all is not lost. God is with them. God is their strength. This, they need to acknowledge with joy. Just as God is our strength. God will help us get through this. Yes, it will take longer than we thought to right the ship, to recover from the tumult, to find our bearings again, but it will happen.

    Just as the people were called to a new way of living so are we. It will come slowly, but it will come. In the meantime I encourage to find things that bring you joy. If you can’t think of anything right now then take some counsel from the words of Nehemiah, words which reminds them the Lord is their strength. Nehemiah says, take some of what you have and give to those who don’t have any.

    Nehemiah reminds them, and us, there are people out there who are hurting, who are hungry, who are struggling more than we. If we can offer help to those people it will be the catalyst for our joy.

    Remember joy is the second fruit of the Spirit found I Galatians 5:22-23. So I mentioned something that brings me joy is light and today I plan to wash my windows in my office. I want to let the light in and I want to enjoy looking out of a clear, clean window. And perhaps I will then see better so I can see those whom need more help than I do. And when I help them I know that will warm my heart and will also bring me joy.

    Blessings,

    Pastor Randy

 
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