The Pastor's Peace - April, 2018
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I have to say, it has not been such a great winter. We have had losses of loved ones, several serious illnesses, surgeries, and general difficulties with many of our members. This just covers what has happened in our congregation. The news of our nation and world has been a challenge as well: school shootings with tragic losses of life, brutal winter storms, stock market and economic concerns, and the ever present fear of regimes such as Russia and North Korea. It is easy to fall into despair and lose sight of hope when such things surround us. I myself have struggled to keep a positive attitude during the past weeks and months; however, these things do not define our existence.

I was reminded of that one Sunday in March. As I gave the children’s moment, watched the smiles of the kids, and listened to their cute and insightful answers to my questions, I was overcome by joy. No matter what was happening in the world around me, the joy of those children was not diminished that day. These kids bring joy in the present, but are our future as well, representing the hope of new life and becoming the people that will work to make this world better for all of God’s creation. During Easter we speak of new life. We often think of this in terms of Christ’s resurrection and the eternal life we share with Christ through that event. This is central to our faith and the message of Easter, but God is also bringing forth new life, new opportunity, and new reasons for hope in the here and now.

That same Sunday was also the first day I got to see a new addition to the church, a small baby boy born this winter. In the midst of the hardship I was surrounded by, there was this literal new life being brought into the world by God. In this boy there is so much potential for a future that I cannot even fathom and will likely not get to fully see, in this life at least. This is but one example of God bringing forth new things. If we look in the world we can find so many other examples. For me hope is recognizing all of the good and potential in the world around me and having faith that it will ultimately overcome the darkness. Perhaps not today, perhaps not tomorrow, perhaps not even in my life, but someday God’s kingdom will come into its fullness.

This Easter season remember that the new life of Christ is not only about an event thousands of years ago, it is not only about the life eternal we share, but it is also about the new life coming into our world each and every moment of each and every day. See that new life and have hope.

Peace, Hope, and Blessings,
Pastor Brian