Today’s Word from Pastor Jim... 
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

Our nation changed twenty years ago today; our world was changed by terrorism. Our nation has been changed by Covid19; our world has been changed by this pandemic. As much as we might like to go back to simpler times and less cumbersome days, there will be no going back. Time, history, our journey only goes in one direction and that is forward. Forward in faith, together as God’s people, trying to figure out how to live, love, laugh, and cry together.

Our nation has been changed; the world has been changed. Just as we will never roll into the airport 15 minutes before our flight again, we will probably be wearing masks on airplanes and public transit for years to come. That’s okay with me. It is a small sacrifice for the common good of all. The journey of life and history only goes in one direction; the cat does not go back in the bag, the genie does not go back into the bottle, technology will not play a lesser role in our lives, and nuclear weapons will continue to threaten humanity.

Our nation was changed twenty years ago today. The images fresh in our minds: brave firefighters climbing a stairway to heaven, the twisted rubble of the twin towers, the flag draped caskets in slow funeral processions, and twenty years of war that followed. Our nation has been changed by this pandemic season. The Chinese word for “crisis” is made up of two characters. The Chinese word for “crisis” is a combination of “danger and opportunity.” The danger was real, so was the opportunity.

The Bible tells us that, “all things work together for good, for those who love God.” It is important to note that not all things are good. Many things in this fallen world are bad, evil, contrary to God’s will. Not all things are good, but if we trust God and work together, good can overcome evil. Good can be found even in the darkest seasons of our lives; darkness cannot overcome light.

We had the opportunity to come together, to fight a common Covid19 enemy, but instead we seem to have come apart. The common good was lost in the name of individual freedom. The conversation turned personal and political. Respectful discourse and love faded as rancor, superstition, and fear took center stage. If we are to find good, then we must return to God. Our only hope is love. God is love, and “all things work together for good, for those who love God.”

Our nation and our world have been changed by twenty years of turmoil, terror, war, and pandemic. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Jesus washed feet, Jesus touched the untouchable, Jesus fed the hungry, Jesus cured the sick, Jesus lavished grace upon all and warned the religious about judging others. Jesus died for every immigrant and refugee, Jesus died for every Muslim and Jew, Jesus died for every unwed mother and homeless man; Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. May we return to God; may we rediscover love as our spiritual center, may we work together to find good, even in the midst of evil.

I am hopeful and hope filled. Why? Because your love has inspired me to love.

Pastor Jim
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