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Message from Pastor Jonathan

My Soul thirsts...for the Living God Psalm 42

Dear Friends,

Needless to say, this was a summer like no other.  Generally, we come to the end of this season feeling rested and renewed and maybe a little eager for the return of fall rains.  Not this year.  Judging from the conversation I have had with colleagues and friends and with many of you, and taking note of my own state of mind after the experience of these past few months, I think the general state of being for most of us is one of fear and trepidation compounded by feelings of shock and outrage.  With the dawning of each new day unwelcome, disturbing, and downright frightening news has been there to greet us. It’s been exhausting.

So, where can we turn when the world seems crazier, more violent, and too often filled with acts of racial and religious bigotry and misogynist attitudes? How can we find comfort when menacing shadows lurk?  Where can hope be found?

In his blog, John Paviovitz says this about our troubling times, “The truth is, dear friend: there are far more people in this place working for equality, diversity, love, and justice than opposing them—and it isn’t even close. There are hundreds of millions of people in this world who (just like you) wake up every day trying to be the kind of person the world needs; lavish with compassion, overflowing with generosity, relentless with love. You are, even when you’re not aware of it, surrounded on all sides by like-hearted people who are not okay with the suffering around them either.

That isn’t to say that there isn’t a great deal to grieve over or be alarmed by or really angry about—it just means that these things aren’t stronger than the massive, sprawling army of those who grieve, who are alarmed, who are filled with righteous anger. It means that you are in good and plentiful company in your profound not alrightness; that the vast majority of people feel as burdened as you are to make better days. This is the story you need to tell yourself because it is the truest one.”

Friends, as we enter the season of a new church year, let us come together to find the strength and courage we need for the living of these days.  Let us draw upon our faith and remember that after the anguished cries of the Psalmist comes these words of hope and promise

Jonathan

 Psalm 42

As the deer pants for streams of water,

so my soul pants for you, my God.

My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.

When can I go and meet with God?

My tears have been my food day and night,

while people say to me all day long,

“Where is your God?”

Why, my soul, are you downcast?

Why so disturbed within me?

Put your hope in God,

for I will yet offer praise,

my Savior and my God.

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