From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 21st Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

So this war going on in the Middle East is horrible. Actually, all wars are pretty horrible, where rulers decide the fate of their subjects, and send them out to fight whether they want to or not. It’s hard for many of us who were raised out here in the West to know what it really is like to live in such a climate. It’s hard for us to know what it’s like, and what we can do about it.

Because often times, words don’t seem like enough. We can preach all the sermons we want, write angry posts on social media, even hold up a sign or two in protest. But what will that really do in changing this broken and hurting world?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying do nothing, I’m just saying that I personally don’t know how I can help. I don’t know what can be done to better the situation. I don’t know how to lift up our siblings on the other side of the world and invite them into hope as they may be wondering why God lets these bad things happen.

That is something that I was asked recently, actually. And my answer was as it always is, “God didn’t let it happen. It was people.”

Here are the readings for next week:
Isaiah 45:1-7
Psalm 96:1-9
1 Thessalonians 1:1-10
Matthew 22:15-22

In the face of these horrors around the world, it’s often hard for us to see God in it all. It’s hard to recognise God’s presence. It’s hard to believe that God is even there with us, among us, and holding us up as God’s own beloved children.

I mean, of course it’s hard. Because these horrors don’t look like God, not the God that we know at least. So why are we looking for God in them? Why do we try to see God in the midst of war, anger, and hatred? Why do we blame God for evil?

Rather, we can see God outside of the horrors. Look at the compassion in the aid of those in need. Look at the support given by surrounding communities. Look at the healing that will come to those hurting, broken, and dejected. Look for God where God is, and recognise that the evil doesn’t come from God, but from people.

Basically give to God what is due to God, and to people what is due to people.

May God’s peace reign in all the hearts around the world, and may God’s healing come to those in need.

Photo by Hasan Almasi on Unsplash

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