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(Jesus said..)“Don’t let this rattle you.

You trust God, don’t you?

Trust me.”

(John 14:1 The Message)

During this season of Lent in our worship services we have been talking a lot about God’s love for us from creation throughout life and how we experience that love.  These past few weeks have been filled with events and “happenings” that might make one wonder what is this world coming to?  War, bigotry, -isms from every angle, poverty, homelessness, greed and on and on..  Have we lost all traces of human dignity and respect?  Is there no regard for human life?  And what about the children?  Issues and challenges that face our country, our community and our personal lives make one scratch their head in disbelief.

Unfortunately these are not new issues!  As John wrote his interpretation of Jesus’ story, he knew that he was writing for his day and his people as well as the days and people yet to come. He knew that his prophetic word would be needed for generations to yet unborn.

For us, as we move through the issues of our day, hear again the words from John….”don’t let this rattle you!”  Remain steadfast in your belief that God knows what’s going on around us but greater still knows us more intimately than anyone else.  After all, God created us, gave us the breath of life and has not stopped loving us since!

Prayer:  Sometimes Loving God, it seems like things are happening all around that cause me to waiver and even throw up my hands!  Please continue to reach down and grab them when I raise them in despair and disbelief. Calm my restless spirit and quiet the jangling sounds of disappointment, hurt and anger.  In the name of your Son, Jesus we pray.  Amen.

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“Look on me with a heart of mercy, O God, according to Your generous love.
According to Your great compassion,

wipe out every consequence of my shameful crimes.
Thoroughly wash me, inside and out, of all my crooked deeds.
Cleanse me from my sins.

For I am fully aware of all I have done wrong,

and my guilt is there, staring me in the face.
It was against You, only You, that I sinned,
    for I have done what You say is wrong, right before Your eyes.”

(Psalm 51:1-2  The Voice)

The season of Lent (as described above) is a time when we reflect on the ways that we have not “lived up to our end of the bargain” when it comes to our relationship with God.  As hard as we may try, sometimes it is just too hard to keep up the time for reading and reflecting on scripture, praying, or carrying out acts of mercy and grace.  Our schedules become so full and we think we will “get back to it” and find that we never do.

This Psalm is believed to be written by David after Nathan had a conversation with him about his “relationship” with Bathsheba.  David had tried to hide his sins and thought they were covered up pretty well … no witnesses and nobody left to tell the truth.  David thought he had covered his tracks, but Nathan reminded him that was not quite the case.  You can’t hide from God!

Maybe we haven’t reached the same level of behavior that David had, but our relationship with God always needs our introspection and work.  Our lives are not as squeaky clean as we think or wish they were.  But our God is one of mercy and grace that says to us over and over, just make the honest effort to “turn around”, do the right thing, say the right thing, help the least, last and left out.  This is the God that says to us, “I allow you to turn around and come back into relationship with me” regardless of where you have slipped.  I’m here for you!!

PRAYER:  Merciful God, I know that I have not done everything I could or should have to keep our relationship strong.  Please meet me in my confession and help me on the way to be reconciled to You.  Amen.

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