Pastor’s Corner (10/8/2020)
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.” Romans 8:28
This passage from Romans comes from one of my favorite portions of scripture. The 8th chapter of Romans is one of Paul’s most poetic. The introduction to this letter in the Revised Standard Version of the Bible tells us that this letter was written at the height of Paul’s career between 54 and 58 C.E. It reflects the maturity of his life and faith. This particular verse comes from a section that describes the reality that “Human weakness is sustained by the Spirit’s intercession and by the knowledge of God’s loving purpose.” Paul wrote to the Roman church during troubling times. Christ had died about 20 years earlier. Paul wrote this letter to those who followed Christ and, because of that, they faced difficult times. The Church was still young and people struggled with issues of identity and purpose. They lived in unprecedented times and faced many new challenges. Paul knew they needed words of hope. They needed to know that God loved them and had a purpose for them.
Paul’s words are just as powerful today in these challenging and unprecedented times. As we move through COVID, we are also challenged with issues of identity and purpose. We here at FCC are no exception. These times invite us to ponder our identity and purpose as a congregation. We have had to make a lot of adjustments in every aspect of our congregational life. Despite the many changes in our lives, we continue to engage in ministry and mission. Just as in years past, we are invited to ponder how we will continue to support that mission and ministry. Although things look different, we have continued with worship and fellowship. We continue to care for the building from which we serve. We continue to reach out locally and in our Region. We continue to reach out to our members and help people connect with God and one another. Staff and volunteers have worked together to facilitate mission and ministry on all these levels.
This year the theme for our stewardship campaign is “This I Know: Trusting a Known God with Your Unknown Future,” We do not know what the coming months or year will look like. None of us knows what the future will bring. Just as the early Christians in Paul’s time did not know what their future would look like, we do not know either. But, we can trust in Paul’s words. God has plans for us. God journeys with us and guides us. God’s love sustains us. We are called to respond faithfully, just as our ancestors did. We are called to commit to God’s mission and ministry as it is expressed in our faith community here at FCC. We are called to give to support the ongoing mission and ministry of the church even, and especially, when we do not knows what that will look like. We, like our ancestors, are called to affirm: “This I Know: Trusting a Known God with Our Unknown Future,” We can commit to that unknown future because God guides us and goes with us. Like the early church in Rome, we can embrace Paul’s words: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good.”
May we have the courage to embrace, and embark on, this unknown journey confident in God’s love and presence.
With love and hope,