Knowing Our Hope Is In Christ

I am writing to you from my sister’s home in Houston, Texas. Before we left for vacation, I did not have an article for Grace Notes and so you were going to get a break! But today, something happened that I wanted to share with you. We arrived in Texas on Thursday evening. While enjoying vacation, Pastor Kevin and I have been watching the various events taking place in our nation. We watched as President Trump was sworn in; we watched the reports about the Women’s March in Washington and in many other cities. After arriving at a hotel yesterday, we just happened to turn on the television as the first news conference of the new administration was taking place. We watched as the press and the new president’s administration bickered over how many people attended the inauguration. I must admit that I ranted and raved a bit about the sorry state that our country seems to be in. I know that at Grace, we are just like the rest of the country…. there are folks who have high hopes for the next four years, longing for business-friendly policies that will increase jobs and that we will find a way to bring down those horrible insurance premiums and deductibles. There are other folks who are fearful of what will happen during these years to the most vulnerable people, our relationship with other nations, and the global climate. Many of us feel a combination of the hopes and concerns that I’ve listed. Even on vacation one cannot escape reacting to and worrying about the events going on around us. This morning I had a profoundly moving experience that spoke to me during my own concern and dismay. It happened at the altar rail at Emmanuel’s Lutheran Church in Seguin, Texas. I must confess that I had not planned to go to worship on this vacation Sunday. I pictured sleeping in and then going out for a nice brunch. But last night, when we found ourselves in the hometown of Texas Lutheran University, Pastor Kevin and I decided to find the Lutheran Church. We decided to go to worship (even though we didn’t have “church clothes” with us!). I am so glad we made this decision. This morning, as I knelt at the altar receiving the body and blood of Christ, a feeling of peace washed over me. I realized that no matter what else is happening in the world, I am a child of God who is not only blessed but is called to be a blessing to others. I thought about you, my church family back in Maryland, and I knew that as people filled with the body and blood of Christ we will stay strong and we will do whatever we need to do to be the people of God. February, 2017 February, 2017 Grace Notes is also available online at www.gracelc.org/news/grace-notes Page 2 I wanted to share this experience with you. Those of you who have grown to know me well know that I am not one who gets caught up in the emotional side of spirituality. I tend to lead with my mind rather than my heart. However, today, this feeling of God’s blessing and God’s call rests squarely upon me. If we had not chosen to attend worship today I would still be left stewing about current events and feeling helpless. So, please, please, in these challenging days, make a commitment for yourself to attend worship regularly. Bring your children, your spouse, and your neighbors! We need to be together and we need to be filled with word and sacrament. Let us all join in praying for our new president, for the needs of the people, for God’s global community, and for all of God’s creation. In addition to our prayers, let us lend our hands, our hearts and our voices to the work of Christ in the world. We are God’s children, claimed and filled by Jesus’ grace and called to share that grace with the world.

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