Pastor’s Corner (9/10/2020)

 In Pastor's Corner

There are times I feel really discouraged by all that is happening in the world today. It seems as though division, injustice, and fear rule the day. Many around the country are dealing with unprecedented natural disasters, riots continue to rock major cities, and many people are struggling with unemployment. We also continue to struggle with how to deal with the ongoing worldwide pandemic of COVID-19. As I prepare my Pastor’s Corner today, the news broke that Investigator Mario Herrera died early this morning. The bad news seems to wash over us from all sides, As we share many of these burdens it would seem natural that we would be unified in our efforts to deal with it all. Instead, we are more divided than ever. As children of God we are reminded that we are bound together in our shared humanity, but we seem more at odds with one another.

In her recent book “Untamed,” author Glennon Doyle explores several issues including the divisiveness in our world today. In her colorful style that mixes personal memoir with reflection, Doyle invites the reader to ponder the joy found in trusting one’s inner voice. She explores the idea that we are often bound by external expectations that lead us away from being still and knowing ourselves and experiencing God more deeply. She has had a colorful life that has included wrestling with her faith. Toward the end of the book I was struck by her following remarks:

…to dishonor another’s humanity is to bury one’s own. If we can find good in those we’ve been trained to see as bad, if we can find worth in those we’ve been conditioned to see as worthless, if we can find ourselves in those we’ve been indoctrinated to see as other, then we become unable to hurt them. When we stop hurting them, we stop hurting ourselves. When we stop hurting ourselves, we begin to heal. The Jesus idea is that justice casts the widest net possible, so that every last one of us is inside. Then there are no others, there is only us.

In these challenging and polarized times, I found her words particularly eloquent and relevant. This does not mean that we ignore or discount our differences. However, as we realize that we are all in the net of justice, love, and mercy cast by Jesus, we become able to acknowledge and celebrate our differences. It is so tempting to believe the voices that urge us to fear and discount those differences.

In Jesus’ time, he was seen as different. He did not align with the powerful, the wealthy, or the influential. Instead, Jesus ministered to the outcasts, the disabled, and the poor. He did not do this in a way that discounted those in power, but he knew that they had power and a voice that so many others did not. He reached out to those seen by the world as bad and worthless. Jesus knew that the best ways to deal with fear was through love, justice, and mercy. Only fear makes it possible for us to experience the world as “us” and “them.”

In these challenging times may we have the courage to embrace the awareness that “we” are bound together by our shared humanity. As we share our burdens of grief, sadness, anger, fear, and uncertainty may we embrace the awareness that “we” are all together in Jesus’ net of love, justice, and mercy.


With love and joy,

Pastor Karen


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