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Pastor’s Pen                                  November 8, 2017

“Seek good, hate evil.”

                                                        Amos 5:14

There’s a burning bush at every turn in the wilderness. Night temperatures finally dipped to frost, waking each day golden, crisp and bright. Mainers breathe a sigh of relief. Unseasonably warm days make us uneasy, in want of wool and the scent of wood fire. Who expects to harvest Kale in November? But there it is.

Lingering tourists cluster at Stonewall Kitchen, initiating a harvest of another kind: blueberry jams and assorted chutneys for the coming holidays. Many find this ritual infinitely more satisfying than the mall rush or on-line isolation. What’s not to love about samples of sea-salt dark chocolate, a temporary respite from an increasingly maddening world?

The reverie doesn’t last. Bad news lies in wait, crouching at the corner of sight. Try getting through the day without capture by the latest assault on human experience. Perhaps it’s possible to miss another evil sign of man’s inhumanity to man if you’re out camping or sick in bed. Otherwise, forget it. You can’t not know that there’s trouble in the streets, and in churches too, as it turns out. We can’t help but wonder, “Is nowhere safe?”

But that’s not really our best question is it? The earliest prophets and observers of human experience urge us now as they have in every generation, to seek good and resist the temptation to focus on evil. We feed what we want to grow. When we binge watch violence in the streets, on film or in video games on our phones, we normalize violence. I’d like to say that violence steals the best real estate of our mind and spirit, but in truth we have a tendency to give it away without a struggle.

Resist the temptation to give your best self to that which is, by its very nature, antithetical to our highest and best purpose as human creatures. We can do better than this. Surely we have enough imagination, if not sufficient faith, to actively seek more of that which is good, and worthy and beautiful and hope-filled, and actively resist the death-dealing rattle and clamor of evil.

There’s a burning bush flaming for your attention in the wilderness. Seek good.

Prayer

Grant us faith, O God, to seek your good that cannot be extinguished, an eternal flame of hope in times of trouble. Amen

God’s grace, mercy and peace,

Pastor Anna V. Copeland