Craig’s Corner 2020 November

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. – Colossians 3:15

May the peace of Christ be with you.

By the time you read this, the election will be near or just completed.  Either way, we likely won’t know yet who the President will be for at least a short while.  Still, no matter which way you voted or who is elected, I hope we remember these two lessons from Paul’s letter to the church at Colossae – peace and thankfulness.  

As human beings, we are prone to sin – however you want to categorize that in your brain.  And this sinful nature has been brought out in force (on both sides mind you) as some have become irreconcilable in their attitudes toward their fellow Children of God. I’ve witnessed normally level-headed people (again on both sides) give no quarter to “the enemy,” forgetting that the real enemy isn’t Republicans or Democrats, but the lack of empathy, kindness, forgiveness, and love that is rampant right now.  While it is important to seek truth and justice, they should still give way to forgiveness and love or we are all lost.  If not for the boundlessness of the love and forgiveness of Christ, we would ourselves be lost and doomed.

So no matter how this election goes, be kind to one another.

Forgive past transgressions.

Seek peace.

And be thankful.

Weird to be thankful in the midst of this pandemic, right?  This has been a tumultuous year to say the least!  For me personally as well as for the nation.  On the personal front, I started the year after having just been in the hospital.  My kidneys nearly collapsed for the second time in my life.  And at the end of it all, I did end up with more damage to them – possibly leading to dialysis or a transplant at some point in the not too distant future (although please keep praying for me about that).  The pandemic hit and all the plans we made for Spring Break, Emma’s 16th birthday, and summer vacation had to be thrown out the window.  Then the news got worse.  One of my high school buddies died from COVID-19.  That pretty much put everything else in perspective.  And while I miss seeing my friends and family (haven’t seen my own parents in person since January), I am so grateful more people haven’t died from this that are close to me.  Even though we haven’t seen each other in person, I feel even closer to friends and family than ever before.  Even though it’s meant being slightly inconvenienced by wearing a mask, I’ve been healthier than ever before (minus the kidney problems which admittedly are huge).  And even though I miss seeing all of you in person, it has been this weird blessing that we are stretching ourselves in new ways which has brought more people to worship and we are able to visit with friends we haven’t seen in worship before.  

Do I wish COVID had never happened?  Of course.  If for nothing else, than I would like my old high school friend back.  But I hope that even in these trying times, we will take the time to be thankful.  There are many blessings God has given to us that sometimes we don’t take the time to stop and see.  There are opportunities that without trial we sometimes miss.  And we can be both mournful and grateful at the same time.  Those things are not in opposition to each other.  Sometimes, they help us to clarify life.

Many of you (including me and my family) won’t have the “usual” Thanksgiving this year, but let us keep in mind the things we CAN be grateful for and focus on that this season and every season.  May God continue to bless you and guide you through these times.

Peace in Christ,

Rev. Craig