A Note from a Pastor
I am grateful to call attention to the fact that 2021 is well under way. We are on the cusp of one year since much of what we knew as normal would change for a much longer period of time than any of us could have projected. COVID and/or the impacts of our overall society’s reaction to COVID have affected each of us in many ways. I am reminded of the Apostle Paul’s words:
“7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11 For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12 So then death is working in us, but life in you.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-12
The last 12 months in the American experience have been unique. So unique that I can attest to never having experienced life in America as in the last 12 months. The tension, to say the least, has been real. I recently read an article in Christianity Today by Sarah Klinger. The article, Living Tension, is used as a blog entry for the Jesus Creed blog and it can be found here: https://www.christianitytoday.com/scot-mcknight/2021/february/living-tension.html
When I hear the word tension, I think tension headache or stress or maybe some difficult conflict. This article portrays tension as potentially positive. I appreciate the perspective. Her article points to non-believers and our tension as Christians living in a dark world, a world that seems to be heading in any direction but God as fast as possible.
It is natural for us to seek out comfortability, the path of least resistance. However, if we do not involve ourselves in the world in which we have been placed, we are not allowing our tension with the world to become opportunity for the Gospel.
Klinger writes: “I’m not saying to actively seek out suffering or hardships. But we’ve already been warned this life will not be easy. I think in actively running from tension and seeking a comfortable, easy life, both individual Christians as well as the American Church, have neglected to see the needs around us. We have overlooked ways in which we can point others to the true hope Jesus promised us. What is that true hope? “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33)”
Church, even when it’s not comfortable, we are His ambassadors and it’s time to remove our bushels from our candles! God, use us for your glory, have your way and may the tension in our society turn to opportunity for those in darkness to be born again into your marvelous light!