A Shield of Faith

Dear Saints,

As I pondered what ‘new’ insight I could share with you for our Summer edition of the Spire, I had this vague recollection that I written a summer article a while back, around rest. I dug it out and sure enough in 2011 I reviewed all the wonderful things we had accomplished including renovating the sanctuary, purchasing a new organ and receiving our 1st Morris County Preservation Trust Grant.

While we still continue to enjoy all those initiatives, it seems like those days were so much simpler and calmer than now. Then I googled major events of 2011. Epic earthquakes, tornados, Tsunamis brought death and destruction to Japan, New Zealand, Argentina, Tuscaloosa and Joplin. Clashes and deaths in Egypt, a gunmen killed 69 people at a camp in Norway, House Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot among 12 others — 6 died. That was also the year we had a ‘white Halloween’ and we learned the value of generators. But the news wasn’t all bad that year. Depending on how your life interests, it was also the year that Kate and Will got married, Greece held off bankruptcy (again) Oprah went off the air and ‘evangelist’ Harold Camping’s prediction that the world was coming to an end, failed to come true…

I think the older we get, the more we long for the good old days. As did every generation before us. I think it’s natural especially in light of the growing frequency of lone gunman shooting sprees and attacks from ISIS on all of humanity. It is natural to be fearful, angry, anxious and depressed.

But to act as if there’s no option, is a denial of our identity as Tekna Theou (Greek for: Children of God). Peoples throughout the annals of time have lived in fear about one thing or another and still we survive and press on in spite of, and sometimes because of, our suffering, loss and the experience that comes with it.

God calls us in Ephesians 6 to: “… be strong in the Lord and in the strength of God’s power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places…

Additionally: “As shoes for your feet, put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace.

This is easier said than done, but it is our call and our responsibility as we ‘live out our baptism’ in Jesus Christ.

I’m not saying it’s easy, but I am saying it is our call and our duty. (It also helps ease the anxiety, and fear that keeps creeping in). Additionally, I am republishing this list below for us all, from Summer Spire, 2011. I pray you commit to doing even ONE.

  • Take time to read & pray with the psalms (try 8, 23, 42, 46, 84, 86, 103, 139) 
  • Take time to slow down everything; your speech, your driving, your eating, your judging 
  • Make time with friends and family to whom you always say: “We have to get together!” 
  • Initiate an honest conversation with the family member, neighbor or friend with whom you’ve been at war with in your heart and/or your life 
  • Forgive those with whom you don’t see eye to eye. They’re trying to do their best too. 
  • Learn a new craft, game, hobby or sport that gets you out of your rut 
  • Re-read one of your favorite bible stories and share it with a child a parent, a siblings or a friend. 
  • Take time to be alone so you can listen for God’s voice. 
  • Pray without ceasing 
  • As always, upon returning from any beach destination, please bring any seaglass to the church office.

Relying on Christ with you,
Jen

Categories: Pastor's Blog