How is it with your soul?
Did you celebrate and worship with us this past Sunday? Or were you observing the Sabbath from your home, in another house of worship, or beside your loved ones in another way?
We observed All Saints’ Day in worship. We rang bells and prayed with gratitude for those who have died but left behind a legacy of faith for us, the body of Christ who has followed him.
And then we went home. We said goodbye at the door. We shook hands, embraced one another, looked each other in the eye and wished one another well until we meet again.
And then we read, listened, watched the news about First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. An entire congregation injured, killed, and forever changed by a mass shooting in their house of worship.
When you heard this story, did you think of your own family? Did you think of your beloved church family? Did you ask God…how? Why? What is this catastrophic, indescribable pain?! And…if it could happen to them, could it happen to us?
You are right to ask these questions. Our faith in a God who loves and shows compassion and mercy, demands us to ask questions. The fear you feel is justified, but not permanent. This Sunday we will talk about fear in worship and how it is another barrier between us and gratitude. We are grateful to worship a God that is both compassionate and completely rejects hatred. We are grateful to be called not just to believe with our hearts and minds, but with all that we are including our actions.
So, how is it with your soul?
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
We love because he first loved us.
If anyone says, ‘I love God’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And he has given us this command.
Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”
-1 John 4:18-21
What will you do with this love of God? I urge you to take the action which God is inspiring within you. Say yes to that new opportunity you’ve been considering. Get involved with a community organization. Be a part of our SoL mission team or a compassionate, dedicated small group.
Do not let the fear of violence or hate define who you are. Let God do that. For God is ours, and we are God’s.
My dear church, let us now go and be The Church.
I pray for you all and ask God to keep you always,