Pastor’s Pen December 7, 2016

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…a time for war, and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8

         Today is Pearl Harbor Day. Standing on the observation deck at the naval base in Hawaii several years ago, I stared down into the waters where an uncle sank with his crewmates. We can imagine the surprised look of young soldiers, whose faces turned skyward just before their ship was sent to the bottom of the bay. While there are among us church members too young to remember 9/11, there are also among us those who remember where there were and how they felt on December 7, 1941, 75 years ago today.

         There are gifts in such a long view of history, the fruits of aging. We see the hand of God during the years when food and fuel were rationed and the jubilation when we emerged on the other side. We remember the anxieties of our youth as we reflect with patience that not everything has to be accomplished this minute.

         I’m not one to talk. When I first started out in ministry, one of my search committee members reminded me that I wasn’t in graduate school anymore. Not everything had to be started and finished by the end of the semester. I was treating the kingdom of God like a sprint. She recognized that the kingdom of God is more like a triathlon, long distance, varied in its work and its pleasures. Training takes place gradually, over time.

We receive the fruits of the work not only at the finish line with a garland and a crown, but also in the process of preparing and at every turn of the course. God is not only still coming through Christ at Christmas and at the end of time, but also now in this present moment. The kingdom of God is in us and among us now, and for us in heaven for eternity. The kingdom of God is at hand.

Prayer: God of earth and heaven, we know that for everything there is a season. Reveal to us that which you would have us do just for today, that your kingdom come and your will be done in your time and according to your purposes. Amen

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

Pastor Anna V. Copeland