Fear Not Week 2: Not Alone!

The month of October and its big event, Halloween, remind us of just how many things we are afraid! We're afraid of imaginary ghosts and goblins that lurk in shadowy places. We’re afraid of the dark, of things that go 'bump' in the night, and powers we don't understand. We're afraid of heights, of snakes, and of spiders. We’re afraid of getting sick, failing in our job, and losing an important relationship. We’re afraid of tomorrow and of the unknown. And while all these fears are real, so is God. When you are afraid, cling to the God who promises, "do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God; I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my victorious right hand." (Isaiah 41:10 NRSVUE) Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1isbNwRHjs4

Finding Hope in Grief

Sometimes mere words aren’t enough. Sometimes what we’re facing escapes the bounds of language and human description. Sometimes what we face defies our ability to make any sense. It’s in moments like this that our hearts are broken, our faith is challenged, and we’re so crushed that to even pray seems impossible. Jesus, upon the death of His friend Lazarus, and seeing Mary weep, “He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.” (John 11:33) For the man, Christ Jesus, mere words could not describe the grief He was experiencing in that moment of loss. Let the irony, transparency, and humanity of that moment sink in; the ONE whom John said was THE WORD (John 1:14), had no words. He wept. He groaned. He was troubled. Why is Jesus so qualified to come to your aid? He doesn’t sit idly by and witness your pain and suffering, He too groans in earnest empathetic pain, and He’s ready to do something about it. The life and ministry of Jesus calls us to a place of living a life of love and not fear. We are a people of prayer. We are a people of hope. We are a people who can allow the love of Christ to shine through us in our everyday mission of loving people through acts of kindness, even in the midst of grief and despair. Before God’s Spirit would eventually intercede with unutterable “groanings” that were too great, too intense, too overwhelming, and too painful for words, Jesus groaned and wept with humanity, committing to never leave us nor forsake us. Worship Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wunZtEDG6Y0

The Art of the Journey: Dead Ends

Have you ever encountered a dead end when you are driving? We all have. And just as surely, we have all experienced dead ends in our lives - those predicaments and situations from which we don't see a way out. But don't despair. We are not alone at those dead ends. Jesus is right there with us. And dead ends are never dead ends with Jesus. Jesus always provides a way forward. Worship Link: https://youtu.be/YwtgKYijHrM