From Pastor Jerry: This morning we welcome Pastor Suzanne Trump as a contributor to our "Just for You!" ministry. Pastor Trump is the senior pastor of St. John's Windish Lutheran Church in Bethlehem. During the time of this pandemic, the people of St. John's Windish Lutheran Church are standing side by side with the people of the UPG to share our combined resources to help proclaim our love of God in more powerful ways. We welcome all the people of St. John's Windish Lutheran Church into our midst and we look forward to what God has in store for us all during this holy pilgrimage!
1God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 2Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; 3though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. 4There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. 5God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns. 6The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. 7The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. 8Come, behold the works of the LORD; see what desolations he has brought on the earth. 9He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. 10"Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth." 11The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
My late husband was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam, and he was blessed to be able to return home, get married and start a family. We met later in life and married before he died prematurely from cancer related to agent orange. I was blessed to have him in my life and still have contact with his three children and our seven grandchildren. Among the many sayings that Doug had was one that he often said when I was stressing about something that was not of major importance. “In a hundred years none of this is going to matter.!” Doug knew how lucky he was to survive Vietnam and he vowed that he would not spend one-minute stressing over the little things in life.
And how important those words are right now. We are in day two of staying home trying to decrease the spread of the corona virus, COVID-19. I am sure that like me, you are worrying over many things. Some of the things we are worrying about are no doubt very important. I am also sure that many of our worries are for things that are only temporary. Hear the words of Doug again, “In a hundred years none of this is going to matter.”
If what you are worrying about won’t have any bearing or consequence in 100 years, then it probably is not something to worry about. These are trying times for all of us, there is so much we don’t know and can’t control. So, may we take a collective breath and focus on what we can control during this time. The words of Psalm 46 always come to me in times of worry and have been a comfort to me. During this time of uncertainty, fears, illness and disruption of our normal routines may we be comforted knowing that God is with us, God is in control, and God loves us unconditionally. “Be still, and know that I am God!” Especially when I read this verse, I take a deep breath and know that God is with me and that much of what I worry about and can’t control is in God’s hands.
The imagery in this psalm is beautiful and powerful. Earth will do what it does and whatever that is, God remains present and with us. No matter what the next couple of weeks bring, we are still in God’s loving hands and presence. We are delighted to be working with our brothers and sisters in the United Proclamation of the Gospel in this time of trial. Pastor Jerry and I will be with you every step of the way. We might not be able to gather face to face and we are working to expand opportunities to gather in new and different ways.