Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Pastors – Pastor Barbara of Holy Redeemer, August 5, 2020

Devotion for August 5, 2020

By Pastor Barbara Caine 

I need some peace!  This current shelter-in-place situation has brought out the worst in me.  I find myself yelling at the poor television set as if it the TV’s fault that our country is divided.  Frankly, it’s been divided for a long time, I just ignored it before now.  

I rail at the injustice that oppresses people of color and decry the actions of those who continue to oppress.  And yet, racism been actively present for over 400 years and, although I’ve noticed, I’ve to this day, never done a darn thing except preach about it. Yikes!

I’m in shock about the long lines at the food banks and worried about the economy, but have I volunteered to help feed people?  Well, I guess I’ll give myself credit for giving money to a food bank, I suppose, but that brings out the worst in me yet again, because I feel all virtuous about it!

I think I’m going about this all wrong.  All my life I’ve had trouble because if I think something I tend to say it.  Thus, my bad behavior lately!  I’m all focused on the negative and so, what comes out of my me?  Yucky complaining, and a really bad attitude!  

So, what do I do about it?  I have to watch what I think!

Paul says it best.  Philippians 4:8-9  Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about  these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

Look, thinking like this does not change the situation that aggravates us, but it can change our whole response.  From yelling to self-reflection, railing to consideration of possible action, from shock to determination and a commitment to change how I do things.  

Thanks, Paul.  I need God’s peace so badly!

In Christ,

Pastor Barbara

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