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Daily Encouragement - March 18

Updated: Apr 6, 2020

Mark 6:47-56 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea. He intended to pass them by. But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.” Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

I was asked several years ago some questions of reflection in front of a small group of friends. One particular question I was asked was, 'in whom do you put your trust'. Without blinking or batting an eye, I said 'In God'. My answer was not particularly surprising. I'm a Christian pastor. That's what you come to expect. As I have watched hysteria on the news and seen firsthand people fighting for the last rolls of toilet paper, hand sanitizer and ground beef, I calmly think back to that question. As a point of self reflection in our Lenten season I must ask myself if I'm saying that as passionately and as strongly today in the midst of this new season we're in. I ask you, as you seek your heart of hearts in uncertain days, 'In whom do you put your trust?'

In ways, this whole atmosphere feels very much like some of the first few days following 9/11 for those old enough to remember. There was a sense of uncertainty of what to do or say, how to respond. In ways we feel some of those same emotions and loss of how to respond today. I hope and pray that the camaraderie that was birthed in the wake of that terrible day can transcend into this time of uncertainty. I pray that when Christ is in our presence that we can know Him as our God, feel safe in that knowledge and share it with a world that needs to hear you share God's words of comfort and peace.

Dear God...

We believe in you and Your healing power. For those who are sick, we pray for Your healing. For those who are lonely, we pray for comfort. For those who desire a hug or embrace as we try to stay connected in our social distancing, may they feel your loving arms.

Thank you for your grace and for your blessings and love that you so graciously shine over us, your people. We look to you today, our Lord and Savior, our Rock and Redeemer. Our trust and security are in you alone. Though things may feel uncertain around us, though struggles may mount up and we feel like we’re losing our grip, though darkness tries hard to steal our joy away, we choose to rest in you. Thank you Lord that you are our firm foundation. We walk in your strength and victory, as you pave out our paths, and lead our way. We praise you that you bless us and keep us, that you make your face shine over us. We love you Lord. We hold on to your truth, and rely on your presence in us, and around us. Amen.

Pastor Michael

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