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Pastor's Column 9/25/22

PASTOR’S COLUMN

“And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before the Lord. Don’t be dejected or sad, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10, NLT

“Finding Joy Again!”

Finding aspects of the deeper meaning in life we often lose, is a great promise God gives us. There is no loss in life for which God does not have a purpose. The challenge is that we very often find it hard to understand the reasons why we forfeit some of the good, which has given us joy and comfort. In her still relevant book, Necessary Losses, author Judy Viorst reminds says there are some things in life “that all of us have to give up in order to grow.” There is no growth without lost; whether understood, or not. For example, the first (and we pray, the last) global pandemic in the 21st Century, brought many losses, sadness, and pain. However, whether appreciated or not, much was gained by the medical research community. Its vast eco-system produced proven vaccines and protocols that protected and saved far more lives than were lost. While every person who succumbed from the vicious respiratory virus and its variant strains was “one too many,” things could have been much worse. Our personal “joy” was assaulted by the events which wreaked havoc in our world. The Jews who were being repatriated back to a Jerusalem that had been destroyed and held siege for 70 years, were deeply saddened by what happened to a previous generation, and some of them. In the fall of the year (Sept. – Oct.) 445 B.C., the people found joy in the assurance and hope that came from the Word of God. They created temporary shelters (Tents) to commemorate God’s goodness to them. They prepared food and sweet drinks, and shared meals with each other; even strangers. They had been assured by Ezra, the priest, “The joy of the Lord is your strength.” In these cumbersome days and uncertain times, we are assured, the Lord is with us. Find God, and you will surely find joy!


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