These days have felt especially heavy. A cousin by marriage has walked a challenging path with her spouse after his diagnosis of glioblastoma in 2021 and death on April 19. I know too many people who have struggled with diagnoses, disease and death, loss and challenge of daunting proportions, it seems. Many congregations have had a long season of lament and they and their leaders are so weary and heavy laden, in the words of Matthew 11.
Our nation and world are fractured and torn. Wars of words and weapons threaten to tear us apart. Climate change and disease are real and they are threatening the planet. We are deeply concerned about the future for our children and their children.
And yet, there are seeds and seedlings of hope. New pastors are joining us. New partnerships are springing up. New resolve to act for justice is apparent in communications far and near.
I am grateful for this presbytery’s caring work as a Matthew 25 presbytery. I encourage all of our congregations to consider how we might all be a part of a solution to make peace, foster hope, and speak out for justice and mercy for all of God’s people.
A Presbyterian Women’s Horizons Bible study from years ago included the statement that the most profound theological world is “nevertheless”, meaning that despite all that would threaten to undo us, as people of faith, we hold onto to hope. Nevertheless, we have hope in Christ. Nevertheless, we believe in a love that has the power to change the world.
I’m spending a lot of time with Romans 8 these days.
“Who can separate us from the love of Christ?”
It’s a profound question, and the answer is that nothing can.