The Strength of God's Love
The following is from my weekly Sunday morning email to Jake's and my congregation. I usually compose it on Saturday night, because that is usually when Jake fills me in on what he is preaching the next day. If I'm preaching, I still usually compose it on Saturday night, because that is usually when I remember that it needs to be done. When Jake preaches, I don't often know exactly which direction he will take the scripture. And so I go in whatever direction the theme for the day takes me. Sometimes, my thoughts align with his. Sometimes they don't. It's pretty cool when they do, though.
The Saturday night that I wrote the following was after I'd had a particularly difficult counseling session with a church member earlier in the day. It was difficult because of the pain the church member was experiencing. The doubts that were swirling. The faith that was unraveling. As I thought about what the church member might need to hear, and what I have come to know through adversity in my own life, this is what I have to offer.
I highly recommend to you Jake's sermon for the day as well. The link is at the bottom. The sermon starts at 33:30.
I will strengthen you and I will help you.
Who needs to hear these words from Isaiah 41 today?
This was part of the message that God gave the prophet Isaiah to give to the people. "Do not fear," God said. "For I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you."
Do these words feel helpful to you? Do the words themselves give you strength? Does knowing that they are words from God and of God change how you consider your current circumstances? Or do they ring hollow in your ears, a stale platitude?
This morning Pastor Jake brings the message about the strength of God's love. We hear from many different places in scripture about the never-ending quality of God's love. His steadfast faithfulness to us. No matter how we feel about ourselves, each other, or even God...God has constant, steadfast, strong love for us. Unshakable. His love for us and his regard for us never waver, no matter what we throw his way. He is there, loving us, when the light shines all around us and all is well and good. And he is there in the darkness, when we are numb and bereft. It might seem easier to feel him in the light. But his love might just be even stronger in the dark.
May the love of God this day reach you in the depth of your grief, at the root of your anger, or in the white hot center of your pain.
Think on these things as you prepare for worship this morning. We hope to see y'all at either 9:00am or 11:00am in person or online. The links are below.
Grace and peace,