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Daily Encouragement - June 26

God makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous.

— Matthew 5:45

There has been plenty of rain this spring. My yard is as green and lush as I could ever want, and I suspect the grass grows in other places as well, even some places we might prefer otherwise. Jerry Sittser lost his wife, his mother, and a daughter in a horrid automobile crash. In A Grace Disguised, he writes of the pain and healing he found in that tragedy:

Certainly on a superficial level, living in a perfectly fair world appeals to me. But deeper reflection makes me wonder. In a fair world I might never experience tragedy; but neither would I experience grace. Grace is grace only when it is undeserved. I prefer to live in a universe in which I get what I do not deserve — positive and negative.  This means I will suffer loss, but I will also receive mercy. I dread undeserved pain, but it is worth it if I can also experience undeserved grace.

These have been tough days, facing Covid, national uncertainty, and the unrest of a people in pain. It might be reassuring to think only bad people should suffer like this, and if my life continues it must mean I am good and righteous, but, in our heart-of-hearts, we know that rain falls on the just and the unjust, the sun shines on the good and the bad. Our hope is in the hand of God holding us through these times; our hope is in the grace that comes to us in all time; our hope is in the one who has borne our pain and felt our sorrow.

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found;

Was blind but now I see.

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,

I have already come;

’tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

God of all grace and peace, your people are in pain. We do not understand all that is happening around us, and we long to see your hand. Grant us faith for today and bright hope for tomorrow that we may be examples of your grace. Amen.

Pastor Tom

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