FacebookTwitter

The Pastor’s Pen             October 5, 2016

“Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold.” Psalm 69

What are you up against right now? What’s up against you? As Christians we don’t like to complain about stuff. After all, there’s always somebody worse off than we are. If we have a headache, we remember somebody has brain cancer. If we’re in the hospital, we recall that another is in Hospice care. The truth is, whatever you’re up against matters. It matters to God, it matters to those who love you, and it matters to me.

Those of us who pray, carry around a perpetual list of celebrations, concerns and crises that are in need of God’s justice, blessing or mercy. We don’t always know which one is needed but God does. We pray for people we know and we pray for people whose names have been handed to us on napkins whom we will never meet. We pray for refugees, and for victims of gun violence and for our country. We pray for patience and the wisdom to know when to speak and when to say nothing at all. We pray for our church and our leaders. We pray for all those who suffer and for ourselves when we get frustrated that we can’t do anything about it.

Then comes the day when the waters seem up to our neck, or the hole we’ve fallen into, or the hole we’ve dug for ourselves suddenly became a chasm and there seems to be no clear way out. If what you are up against is just that deep and just that wide, stop what you’re doing right now and pray the words of the Psalmist: “Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck.”

It may not be fashionable to admit defeat, but it may save you from yourself. Admitting that you’re nearly in over your head creates an opening through which God can handily toss you a life preserver and reel you in. Ask for it. Take it. Tomorrow will be another day, and by the grace of God, you’ll live through this one to face it when it comes.

Whatever you are up against or whatever is up against you,

God’s grace, mercy and peace be with you.

Pastor Anna V. Copeland

Prayer:

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Thomas Merton, Thoughts in Solitude

    OPPORTUNITY TO SUPPORT MEMBER IN THE MILITARY

SUPPORT ONE OF OUR RECENT HIGH SCHOOL YOUTH WHO WILL

GRADUATE FROM TRAINING IN THE MARINES IN DECEMBER. YOU MAY WRITE TO MAYA TRAVERS AT THE FOLLOWING ADDRESS:

RCT TRAVERS MAYA J

4TH RTBN, PLT # 4044, CO. N

PO BOX 16445

PARRIS ISLAND SC 29905-6445

The rules are that she can receive only flat, paper mail (no trinkets, care packages, food, etc) and letters or cards must be in a plain white envelope.

Whether or not you had a chance to get to know Maya, she would appreciate and be encouraged by your letter. Maya and her family joined the church just in the last couple of years, and her parents regularly attend.