Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Pastors – Pastor Barbara of Holy Redeemer, April 13, 2020

Cast all your anxiety on God, who cares for you.  1 Peter 5:7

Dear Church,

Last week I wrote about how encouraged I was by the industrious little birds building their nest by our back door.  Well, you can imagine my dismay when I saw a big blue jay attacking that very nest!  I saw it happen!  In a flash the bigger bird tugged the nest free of its little cranny in the eaves and threw it on the ground.  All that work, all that care, and it was destroyed in an instant. 

Perhaps you can imagine the depths of my anxiety, perhaps you can’t, but I was just sick when I saw that nest lying useless on the ground.  It seemed a symbol of the devastation this pandemic has caused.  I care about those birds….

From the calls and messages I’ve received, week four of this shelter in place has been extra hard.  Perhaps it’s because this was Easter week, which changed dramatically.  We could not engage in the usual family holiday of worship, family, and Easter traditions, at least not in person.  Perhaps week four is natural low point when life is so uncertain and worry seems to be the order of the day. 

“So, Pastor Barbara….” you may be asking, “What wisdom can you share?”  I have no answer, only experience.  When life is good, and I feel happy, I try to remember to cast my joy on God who cares for me.  When life is hard, and I am anxious, I try to do the same, to cast all my anxiety on God who cares for me. I picture God, looking at this broken situation and saying, “I care about those people….”

God will take care of those birds and God will take care of us.  One of the most important ways God cares for us is by moving us to find ways to help others.  I am heartened to hear of folks in our congregations helping in myriad ways, shopping, distributing food, giving, working in essential jobs, praying, encouraging others, and the list goes on.

If you, like me, become anxious, remember 1st Peter, Cast all your anxiety on God, who cares for you.  Then, secure in knowing that God holds us all, we can face whatever life has to offer.

Peace in Christ as we shelter in place,

Pastor Barbara

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