Pastor’s Corner (8/13/2020)

 In Pastor's Corner

“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”                 

Jeremiah 29:11


During these days and months of dealing with COVID-19, it often seems that the real guiding principle is the common saying “we plan, God laughs.” One of the most challenging parts of living life during a pandemic is the realization that our plans are constantly changing. While this is very frustrating, I think it is critical to remember that God has plans for us. These plans may not be known to us yet, but they are in God’s heart and mind. These plans are for our wellbeing. Most importantly, these plans give us a future with hope.

This scripture was brought to my mind during the Pastors’ Retreat I attended in Omaha last week. Our retreat leaders invited us to create a “travelling book.” It’s a small booklet in which we were invited to place various cards with different sayings, including scripture passages. The above passage from Jeremiah struck me and I put it on the front of my booklet. Below it I placed another card that says “I am enough.” Throughout this booklet I have a variety of other quotes and reflections on issues raised during the retreat.

As we continue to make our way into an uncertain future, I think it is critical to hold both of those thoughts in our hearts and minds. While they are true for each of us as individuals, they are critical for us as a faith community, as well. We do not know what lies ahead. This is the time of year in which we begin making plans for the Fall and early Winter. The Ministry Cabinet will meet this coming Sunday to discuss plans for the upcoming months. We probably will not be able to plan in the ways we have before. We will need to continue to be flexible and responsive to the ever-changing times. While this is very uncomfortable for most of us, especially for your pastor who loves to plan ahead, we must be willing to embrace this time of uncertainty. I believe we can do so if we hold the assurance of God’ guidance and presence before us.

God has plans for each of us and for all of us. What life will look like in the coming months is uncertain. However, God has plans for us that give us a future of hope. We may want to know the details, but we do not have to know them in order to trust in God’s presence and guidance. One of the most challenging elements of this time is the fear that we will not have a future. One thing we can count on for sure is that we will be changed. Life will look different for us as individuals and for us as a faith community. We can embrace these changes and move confidently into an unknown future because the future is in God’s hands.

May we all have the courage to trust in God’s promise: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.” One of my ministerial colleagues concludes the scripture reading in worship with these words; “This is the Word of the Lord, it can be trusted because it is true.”

In Christ’s Love,

Pastor Karen


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