Deacon’s Message (October 2017)
Grace and peace to you in this month that marks the 500th anniversary of the Reformation!
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
It is said that Psalm 46 was one of Martin Luther’s favorite scriptural passages. He was known to sing this psalm whenever he faced times of struggle and tribulation (and, let’s face it, attempting to reform the Church can lead to multiple struggles and much tribulation). He found comfort in knowing that God is present even during the hard times, protecting God’s people from danger and harm.
Therefore we will not fear; though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with tumult.
Surely, our own world has experienced great tumult over the last several months – devastating hurricanes and wild fires, destroying lives and property; social unrest and protest, confronting us with the lies upon which our nation was built; shouting and threats of war within and outside of our country, drowning out cries for peace and reconciliation. These are, indeed, stressful days for many of us.
God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns.
And, yet, we can be certain of this – God is with us, even as we struggle in the busyness of our lives, even as climate change brings about new worries and concerns, even as our world seems ripped apart by chaos and evil. God is among us, as close as our very breath, as close as the prayers on our lips and the songs in our hearts.
“Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.”
God’s presence in our lives is more powerful, more constant, more trustworthy than anything the world has to offer. We can respond to the tumult in our lives and in our world out of our faith in God, stepping out in bold action and with strong voice, knowing that we are kept safe by the One who calls us beloved and who saves us by grace.
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.
Psalm 46:7, 11
to God be the glory!
Faith is a living, daring confidence in God’s grace,
so sure and certain that (one) could stake one’s life on it a thousand times.