NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16, 2016

The opening line of Morgan Scott Peck’s book “The Road Less Traveled” is “Life is Difficult.” “Duh!” Who doesn’t know that? That fact hasn’t changed in all of human history. The why of that statement has changed many times even during our life time. One of the reasons it has changed in our lives seems to be the fact that we can’t seem to count on anything anymore. What seems sure is that our lives are tossed, filled with uncertainty.

I know a couple that was together for 4 years and life was good. Everything seemed fine. They got married earlier this year and out of the blue one said to the other, “I don’t love you and we should have never gotten married” and left. Just like that, it was all over.

I can’t even begin to tell the stories of folks I’ve encountered that have worked at the same job for years and then, all of a sudden, they found themselves unemployed. The varied reasons don’t really matter. The job they had counted on is gone and the future they now face is so uncertain.

Recently, my great nephew, Kaci, a healthy 18 year old began having back pain. His mom took him to the doctor. The doctor sent him to the University of Virginia Medical Center where they discovered he has stage 4 bone cancer. There is nothing they can do for him, so they just sent him home with pain medicine. A vibrant young man is left with life’s uncertainties and no future to count on.

As a Pastor, I struggle with the words to help in times like these. Often the best and most I can do is offer a listening ear and pray with them and of course, share the one thing that can still be counted on which is God and God’s love.

Life is difficult; but God and God’s love is certain! The more I study the Gospels, the more I see the creative ways that Jesus used to demonstrate the things we can count on from God. In Luke 18:1-8, Jesus uses a very odd parable to teach this lesson, but the lesson is still a point of certainty that we can count on God, even when life is difficult.

This Sunday, following a Potluck Dinner, we will have our Annual Congregational Meeting to elect officers and pass a budget to meet the uncertain times we face in the next year. We ask all of our members to please be present for this once a year event. We also invite everyone to join us for worship at 10 am, right before dinner together. I will be using the assigned passage from “Luke 18:1-8” to preach about some other “Things We Can Count on From God.”

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