Devotions from Tri-City ELCA Pastors – Pastor Barbara of Holy Redeemer, September 15, 2020

Devotion by Pastor Barbara for September 15, 2020:

Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

This battered happy face in the eerie light of these weeks of fires, expresses much of what I feel. Will the fires never stop? Will the smoke never leave? Will the shelter in place order never be lifted? We lost a dear friend from Holy Redeemer last week, and there are so many folks with health problems, family or friends with health problems, weather and fire problems and so many other problems that it’s hard to believe so many bad things can happen at one time. For the most hearty of souls, this is daunting, and for those who were weighed down with too much before all this began, I can only imagine…. 

In hopes of finding a way to continue to put one foot in front of another, I turn to three things I’ve been taught and recommend them to you. Prayer, scripture, and the help of those I love. 

At times, when things are hardest, prayer comes hard. Just putting one foot in front of another can be a prayer, as God is with you. At times, I need to just lie still and place myself in God’s hands, trusting that God knows my every thought. Words will just not do, prayer, and its accompanying presence, helps. 

At times, turning to scripture can help us find words. Paul says what I can experience, but not express, “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” (Romans 8:26) The Holy Spirit will pray for us when we cannot find the words. 

At times, I turn to help from those I love, my family and friends, which in my case includes my church family. It is devastating that we cannot, in most cases, physically touch our friends and family, as hugs and kisses sustain us as well as anything on earth. But in this time of Duos, and Zoom, and FaceTime, at least we can see each others faces, and hear each other’s voices. We feel and know the love, even if we can’t be in each other’s presence. 

So reach out, my friends, to those who come to your mind. God may have placed their image in your mind for a reason. They may need a word from you, and you may need word from them, and the Spirit is in the midst of all of our conversations and prayers and scripture readings.

 You are precious to those you love, and they are precious to you. Trust that their love is carried across the airwaves, and the miles, and the room to your heart by our loving God and Holy Spirit, to help sustain you in such a time as this. “And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:27). That’s us, saints, beloved of God.

 Take good care of yourselves. 

With love in Christ, 

Pastor Barbara

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