Skip to main content

"Resume." Reflections on an Emotional Week (Boston, West, US Senate)

This morning as I silenced the alarm on my phone I noticed a bulletin from
The Washington Post: one of the Boston bombing suspects had been killed; another, his brother, was on the run. Boston was in lockdown. Since then I have been constantly checking my Twitter feed for updates. In this era of instant communication, much of what I see I read with suspicion, because every media is determined to be the first to report a breakthrough (hello, CNN). I am in prayer for the safety of all involved in Boston, and for a peaceful end to this horrific week there.

At the same time my attention has been split for updates on the explosion in West, TX. I am grateful for the selfless acts of those first responders, police and firefighters, who consistently put themselves at risk for our safety. At our church level, I am grateful for our Missions team, who have been bouncing around ideas for ways to reach out in Christian love. And I am still coming to terms with my frustration with our leaders in Washington who refused to take simple, thoughtful measures to keep us safer from gun violence. It has been an exhausting, emotional week on so many levels.

I'll say more about all of this in the message on Sunday, continuing our "Breaking Good" series. And these themes will be picked up in next week's small groups, which are using a companion curriculum to the series. We're certain to have more questions than answers. Maybe the best question is: Do we trust God in the midst of our struggles? 1 Peter 1:21: "You have come to trust in God, who raised [Jesus] from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God." I pray my faith lives up to that standard each day, and especially in weeks such as this one.



The other day as I walked home from the boys' school, I noticed a sign I have seen hundreds of times, but never reflected on before. Just past the school zone decrease in speed limit, the sign says: "Resume." I'll be walking past that sign again shortly, headed back to the school to read to Miles' second grade class. A normal, routine thing at the end of such an emotional week. Maybe there is a good message for us today. Resume. I'm sure we will stay posted to the events in Boston and West throughout the day, as well as local stuff that may pop up, but go about your life grounded in hope, peace, and love. Resume. Left go of fear and embrace God. Put your trust there, and not in yourself or others. Resume.

I hope to see you Sunday.

A Prayer for this Emotional Week
Lord Christ, this week has pushed our emotions to their limits. We have seen lives taken or changed forever at the hands of murderous individuals; we have seen lives lost or changed forever after a horrifying accident; we have seen our elected leaders fail to take actions which would have made us safer. We have seen heroic, selfless acts on behalf of strangers, and we are reminded of the sense of responsibility we should all share toward our brothers in sisters. Give comfort to all who mourn, give healing to all who hurt, and turn our hearts from vengeance to peace. Our questions and frustrations may go unanswered for a time, and it may seem that the darkness has overwhelmed the light. Help us, we pray, to trust in you, to be assured that our hope and faith are set on you-- and you alone.

Small Groups began meeting again this week!
You are invited to participate in one of our Oak Lawn small groups, which are using a companion curriculum to the "Breaking Good" sermon series.
Monday evenings at the home of Chris Bergh and Pete Peabody
Wednesday evenings at the home of Richard and Erin Eads
Thursday evenings at the home of Jay English
Friday mornings at the home of Sue and Mike Thorn
Friday evenings at the home of Joan Wu

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reflecting Upon Newtown

Note: I offered these words during the prayer section of worship Sunday, December 16.

Last Friday was a day full of surprising ministry. After I wrote my usual Friday email devotion to the church, I received a call from Byron Proutt, our missions coordinator. He and others had recently partnered with Park Cities Presbyterian on a project, and their missions director called Byron to say another ministry was unable to pick up several boxes of food for their pantry—could we use it? Of course we could! So Pastor Gregg, Mr Johnny, and I rolled out to the warehouse and hauled back 80 boxes of food. Praise God! After we unloaded it Gregg and I went to Kroger to give them a letter of appreciation for making our Thanksgiving baskets for hungry families a priority. After I dropped Gregg off at home, I turned on my radio for the first time that day and heard the reports of the shootings in Newtown, Conn. I could not believe what I heard, especially as a father of young children.

I came back to m…

The Famous Black Cat Band

This week my former high school band director, Mr Reinke, died. Mr Reinke is a legend in my hometown of Bay City. He was the leader of our Black Cat Band for many years. He was a fiery man, a perfectionist with extremely high standards. He was a gifted musician. He and I both played the trombone; one of us sounded like a goose being strangled. The other sounded like... well I can't think of a metaphor to properly describe Mr Reinke's horn. It was amazing. He would pull that thing out occasionally to show us how to properly play a part of a song and the sound was spellbinding. 
Mr Reinke was very innovative in his music selections. He had us playing the most random music, from popular stuff of the day by Michael Jackson to Also Sprach Zarathustra (popularly known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. This song in particular was a great choice-- it's amazing, complicated; however, this was the late 1980s. The song was originally released…

a response to gideons international

last sunday prosper united methodist church welcomed representatives of the gideons to share about their ministry. how many times have you stayed in a hotel or visited someone in the hospital and found a gideons Bible there? and while no one can argue that reading the Bible is a bad thing, or that distributing Bibles to others in native languages is inherently harmful, i would like to offer some thoughts on the practices of the gideons, as they were described at church.

1. bravo to the gideons for distributing 73 million Bibles last year. however, most of the Bibles they sent were tiny new testaments with psalms. i am a Christian, and i love the words of the new testament. but those words have their foundation in the old testament, and to remove thousands of years of traditions and stories of God's powerful love and acts of salvation diminishes the power of the whole Bible. we must never forget that the old testament (or "first" testament or "hebrew Bible"…