As I write it is early-mid August and I am shortly to go on vacation. As you read this, we are already in September. How will the world have changed in those three or four weeks? Maybe it’s because I haven’t taken a vacation in a long time or maybe it’s just because of the world we live in, but I find myself very wary (far more than when preparing for previous vacations) about presuming what might be front and center on our hearts and minds as you read this.
This much I know, from the lessons for Sunday August 8. Some of us for any number of reasons—personal, family, the national or world situation, etc.—will be feeling like the prophet Elijah does in 1 Kings 19:1-4. All he wants to do is curl up in a little ball and let the world go by; and that’s putting it gently, check out the story for yourself. And then there’s St. Paul in the Letter to the Ephesians 4:25-5:2: all energetic and full of vision, excited for us to be and act as the people of God. God bless the planners who put those two lessons together! How do they fit?
Well, we all know days like Elijah does, when we don’t feel like getting out of bed, when we are questioning what it’s all about, and when—WARNING: I don’t want to go here but Elijah does, so let me honor his feelings and just name it—we just want to die. AND we all know days like St. Paul when he sees so clearly his role and the role of the faith community in the world, and he shares that vision, and lifts up himself and all around with that vision.
Now here’s the thing. God is in and with both—both of those very real, very relatable situations. God is with and in each of those situations and everything in between. And God is calling you and calling us through each of those situations and everything in between, providing what is needed. God, you, and us—that’s a heckuva team! I wouldn’t bet against it!
So Hillcrest, whatever the headline is or isn’t on the day you read this and whatever the particular threats to good and healthy life we and the world are facing on the day you read this, know that God is with us, calling us on and meeting us where we’re at. Know that God thinks the world of you and God is there for you. Dare to recognize the you that God does, and dare to accept God’s support and power. Let’s join Elijah, St. Paul, and all of that great cloud of witnesses who learned, lived and taught what the author Marianne Williamson said in our times:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful
Beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves,
Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?”
God bless you, and us together, as we enter a new program year of life and service in and for our times!