Pastor Thom's Message Blog

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Pastor Thom Bryant

Connecting - April and May 2020



God is good. All the time. All the time?? God is GOOD!!

Really? Even as we find ourselves in a pandemic? Even when we are being forced to keep physical distance? Even as we cancel sports, school, celebrations, vacations, and even worship? Even as millions (likely billions worldwide) sit unemployed and financially uncertain? Even as tornadoes, floods, and other natural disasters and destruction force people from the safety of sheltering in place? Even as more and more warnings and new discoveries of heart-breaking news streams across our screens?

Yes. ALL the time!!

I am not going to attempt to minimize the strangeness and uncertainty of this moment in history. If anything, I believe we need to be as maximally informed, concerned, and fully present in this crisis as possible. What I am going to do is remind myself, and anyone I can, of what else we are learning each new day and have learned over the centuries about who we are as humans.

We are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are extremely fragile in so many physical, mental, and emotional ways. We are also extremely resilient in so many physical, mental, and emotional ways. We have a tendency to focus on the fragility and scarcity of ourselves than we do the resiliency and abundance.

We also have a tendency to follow what those we interact with focus on for themselves. We overreact, bandwagon, compete, and divide when we do that. We've all observed it, if not participated in it, during this current situation in ways from toilet paper and hand sanitizer to protesters gathering closely together at capitol buildings. It has all been done before and the story of what we do is as old as the book of Genesis.

Then God enters the picture.

Not that God finally appears, saves the day, and throws a rainbow in the sky. Instead, it is that a few humans realize that God has been present and is guiding us into prosperity, not just mere survival. They begin revealing the abundance of talent, resource, and direction that God has surrounded us with. Our eyes begin to shift from our own shortcomings to the needs of others that we can meet. Then they begin to see our needs and how they can meet them. Through God's grace and guidance we see all of the good, all of the time. We see solutions for others instead of problems for ourselves.

Well church, what are you seeing? Where are you seeing it? Is God good? All the time? Perhaps I'm a hopeless optimist, but that just goes with seeing what I see and knowing what I know from seeing it.

Things like food pantries, neighbors, schools, friends, and anonymous strangers ensuring no one goes hungry. Things like landlords forgiving rent and entire cities cheering on frontline workers. Things like frontline workers suiting up and showing up despite personal sacrifice and undeniable emotional pain. Things like our church leadership being committed to keeping our staff financially whole regardless of being full or part time. Things like projects going on at our building and across the globe to prepare for when we can all gather together again. Things like simple text messages, emails, notes, videos, or phone calls to check on each other and see if each other’s needs are met. Things like a silly little snail-mailed newsletter just to remind each other we are here and connected.

This is another moment in history, just as all of the others that came before this. If it weren't different, it wouldn't be history. Remember history keeps proving one thing over and over... that the best of it is... God is with us! Amen?