Sleep on This: March 23

Sleep on This: March 23

Good evening, friend.

What a joy to share with you all in worship yesterday! A year ago, Pastor Ellis urged us to prepare our congregation for live streaming! I’m so glad we followed his advice! Thank God for technology that brings us together, even in a season of enforced solitude. It was fun to read your comments as the service progressed. Not the same as in-person conversations, perhaps…but a gift nonetheless.

In a season of hard and sometimes frightening news, could I share some good news with you? On Friday, I performed a wedding for my son and his beautiful Brazilian girlfriend, Deb. It was a bit of a surprise to us, but they love each other and we were honored to be asked. I performed the ceremony on my parents’ deck so that they could witness it safely, on the other side of the sliding glass door!

Of course, there was no restaurant where we could go and celebrate. So, we loaded their trunk with groceries and sent them on their way. Honestly…it was a bittersweet moment for me. A moment of defiant hope when we declared that life and love goes on. But a sense of loss, too that we could not celebrate the moment more robustly.

All of us, I know, are experiencing loss in this season: loss of savings or retirement, loss of job, loss of health, loss of community, perhaps loss of peace. To ignore or pretend otherwise is not honest or human. BUT…I still remind us of Paul’s admonition in Philippians 1:18b: “…Yes and I will rejoice…” Remember, he had every reason NOT to rejoice. In prison, facing his own execution. Nothing very joyful about that at all.

But Paul could choose joy in the face of loss because of his deep and abiding hope in Christ. He knew that no matter what came, he was in the hands of his loving heavenly Father…and there is no safer place to be.

That is precisely where you are, too! In the hands of a Father who adores you and will never let you go.

Dear Lord, as I lay me down to sleep this night, remind me of how precious I am to my Heavenly Father. Thank you that you have made a way for me to be adopted as a child of God. May my hope and peace rest in the certainty of that divine affection. Amen.