NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR FATHER’S DAY, SUNDAY, JUNE 19, 2016

This Sunday is Father’s Day. So, Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there and those serving in paternal roles.

I usually like using the sermon to commemorate these special days. However, with the events of last Sunday in Orlando; my heart is still sick over the senseless and tragic loss of life and injuries incurred by members of our LGBTQ community, so I’m feeling led in a different direction with the sermon this week.

To show my solidarity with the victims, I changed my Facebook profile to include “We are Orlando,” and by this Sunday I will have participated in at least 5 community events as responses to the tragedy. While I didn’t know a single individual victim personally, as the Pastor of Covenant, I feel like I have known each one of them too often by a different face and a different name. I’ve seen each face too often in random acts of violence toward our community.

I’ve felt like I’m supposed to have some words of wisdom to help others grieve and deal with such horrible acts; but I have felt stymied on this one. So, once again I turned to the scriptures for insight and comfort. It was there, in the lectionary scriptures assigned for this Sunday, that I finally felt some comfort. In Psalms 42 and 43, three different times the Psalmist raises the question, “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you disquieted within me?” Each time he answers with these words: “Hope in God; for I shall again praise Him, my help and my God.” As I reread those Psalms several times, I allowed my mind to think about that question and response. In doing so, the message became clear to me. In spite of the events of last Sunday in Orlando, “God is still God; even when people are going crazy!” At times like these, that just might be what we need to hear, remember and hold onto as we try to emotionally deal this terrible event or some other difficulty in our lives. “God is still God.” God still loves me, accepts me, forgives me, helps me, strengthens me, and encourages me, “even when people are going crazy” all around me. I need to remember to “Hope in God, my Help and my God!”

Join us at Covenant this Sunday after PrideFest for worship. The focus of my sermon will be that “God is still God; even when people are going crazy!” The scripture text is “Psalms 42:1-43:5.”

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