June's Pastor Letter

Hello Everyone,     

First of all, I’d like to thank you all for your patience as we wade through these unusual times together. I know we all dislike not seeing one another and we miss singing together. Most of all, I believe we all miss the sense of  normality. We like to know when and how things happen. At least, that’s how I feel. I am not a fan of all this  uncertainty. I miss the familiarity of what we had back in February.     

Fortunately, we are not alone in these experiences. I would like to remember the Israelites. Many of us are familiar with their story. Moses, with the help of God, led them out of slavery and through the wilderness. In the Wilderness, they created tabernacles (mobile house of worship) that acted as their temple for God. They believed wherever that tabernacle was built, that was literally where God resided. After Moses’ death, they entered into the Promised Land. They lived there for many years.      

They experienced tumultuous times there as well. It was a chaotic time. Eventually, they begged God for a king. First, there was Saul and then came David and later his son Solomon. Solomon is attributed with building the Temple. This was a permanent structure for God to live in. That was their thought process. It was built in Jerusalem which also acted as the capitol of Israel.      

There’s too much to put into just one newsletter article, but if anyone would like to discuss the separate kingdoms of Israel and Judah, please call or email me and I will gladly discuss them. In the meantime, let us fast-forward to the Exile. The Kingdom of Judah (the South) was overrun by the Babylonian Empire. The Babylonians destroyed the Temple and took the elites off into exile. The wealthy, the priests, the nobles (children of nobles) were the group that was taken back to Babylon.      

The prophet Amos, wrote against the idea that God existed within any nations’ borders. In the beginning of his book, he tells his audience that God transcends boundaries. Later, the prophet Ezekiel went into exile. While he preached against their transgressions, he also reminded them that God did not reside in any building, but rather, God exists everywhere. Years later, Jesus himself told his followers that “No one comes to the Father, but through me.” That Gospel was written after the destruction of the Second Temple. It was a reminder to them and to us, that  buildings are not necessary.     

  As we continue to live into this weird and frustrating time of Covid-19, let us take hope from our past. Let us  rejoice that God does not live in a building but lives within each and every one of us. The Church exists wherever we go. While we still try to be careful about how we interact with others, let us show the world what the Church actually looks like. May we do all the good we can, for all the people we can, in all the places that we can, as long as ever we can. 

 

God bless you all, Pastor Chris 

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