Notes from the Pastor – February 2021

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”  Romans 5:1-5

I am writing this on Inauguration Day.  As I watched the ceremony, I was struck by the tone of the day.  For far too long, our country has been struggling with a deep division, one that manifested itself so violently at the Capitol on January 6th.  Now, just two weeks later, I felt a sense of calm and peace.  Not merely because there is a new administration, but more so because the theme of hope was so predominant in everything that occurred today.  I was most hopeful as I listened to the words of a young poet, Amanda Gorman, who read her poem “The Hill We Climb.”  Herein she boldly spoke of hope in the shadows of division.  She encapsulated the division in our country in the first line:

“When day comes we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade?”

During my time here, I have often spoken about light.  I’ve talked about Jesus as the Light of the World.  During Advent, the four candles of “Hope,” “Peace,” “Joy,” and “Love” shone a light into the world as we awaited the fifth candle, the Christ candle.

Gorman also brought a sense of hope that included a challenge:

We will rebuild, reconcile and recover
and every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it

We indeed need to have the bravery to be a light in a world of darkness. Yet in Christ, we can find that very bravery.  For our hope is in Christ, and this hope can never be overcome – “hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.”

Pastor David