Pastor’s Pen August 2, 2017

“Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always strive to do what is good for each other and for everyone else.


Rejoice always, pray continually give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

                                             1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 NIV

Early Saturday morning at the beach was a little depressing. You’d think everyone would be cheerful since they’re on vacation. You might imagine that everyone would appear calm and grateful. The scene unfolded a bit differently than that. Disheveled Dads clung to the hands of reluctant children who given half a chance would make a run for the waves. The family no doubt arrived late the night before from somewhere south of here. You could tell.

Mom probably wanted to sleep in, and Dad took the kids to the beach to get them out of the condo. Who knew kids got up so early? To be fair to Dads, this is often an equal opportunity proposition, but not last week. Every single Dad looked as if he were counting the days when vacation would be over so he could go back to the predictability of his job.

By low tide in the afternoon, everything changes. Parents and grandparents fall asleep under big tents while children construct new worlds in the sand. Fortified by beach food and ice cream, the scowls and discontent of dawn give way to besotted joy. All grumpiness and screaming escaped with the receding tide.

Many of us live like overwrought, sleep deprived parents. We move through our days on the edge of perpetual grumpiness that gets triggered anytime we have to wait to long for the light to change or the grocery line to move.

God desires so much more for us. The Bible is filled with encouragement to rejoice, rejoice always. Rejoice in every circumstance. My God, this life is so precious, fragile and brief. Live at the gloaming dawn as if under full sun and flourishing. God is good, all the time, desiring nothing so much for us as the joy of beloved children ten minutes after the ice cream truck has left ice cold treats in our sticky, grateful hands.

Prayer: Give us the grace to eat popsicles, play in the mud, and build something fun out of sand. And thanks for being such a great Parent who is infinitely patient with us even when we make a mess, and who never minds waking up early with us to greet the day. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Pastor Anna V. Copeland