From the pastor

    God Knows   (September 2017)

    Psalm 46:10 - "Be still, and know that I am God. (NIV)

    Do you know what I just read on the Internet? Did you see the video of what just happened...? Do you know what we're watching on TV right now?...

    We live in a world in which technology has brought the world to us. News of all sorts -- and the more dramatic, supposedly the more important, or at least the more urgent -- is accessible to our fingers, our eyeballs, and our brains, instantly and incessantly. Dramatic, sensational news, especially in audio and video formats, claims our attention every minute of every day.

    We seem to be unable to turn it off, and the effects often feed restlessness, uncertainty, and fear. Enough already! But what can we do to restore order? Or at least find peace and strength to cope? Psalm 46 is a great place to start.

    "God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging... Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall... The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress... Come and see the works of the Lord... Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46, selected verses)

    We have heard and watched this summer of fires in British Columbia and a hurricane accompanied by torrential rain and flooding in Texas, to say nothing of acts of terrorism and the wars that continue to shock, destroy, and impair life for so many throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and elsewhere. It is good to be reminded that the psalmist in Psalm 46 had in his mindís eye mountains falling into the ocean, desolations wrought upon the earth, and wars raging to earthís ends. In such vivid and terrible circumstances he is led by the Holy Spirit to affirm: "The Lord Almighty is with us." The psalmist was a person of faith who knew this God and was reminding himself and all who would know that God is God, and God knows.

    There is no news that is news to God. There is no news that is new to God. God knows.When we know and remember that God knows, we will be able to deal with the "news" around us much better. First of all, although it may be "news" to us, we are not the first to know, and we need not be the first to share it. Let us remember that much "news" is not worth telling, or repeating. Second, let us ponder with gratitude that God cannot be "shocked" by what may shock us or others. If we ask God to fill us with the Holy Spirit -- the same Spirit who inspired the psalmist in Psalm 46 to write, "Be still, and know that I am God." -- then the peace and the strength which the psalmist knew can and will be ours too.

    Jesus was often confronted both by his disciples and others attempting to bring to his attention some news or other about people or events that were disturbing or troubling. Jesus was unperturbed at such news. Even when the disciples were afraid of drowning in a great storm, Jesus slept peacefully, and upon being awakened, shared that peace with them as he quieted the winds.

    Even and especially in the midst of a world in chaos, Christians need not fear and shall not be moved. Our peace and calm are examples to share with others who are searching for reassurance and equilibrium and courage and strength, to make sense of a world incessantly in motion and so often bobbing into chaos. Let us, by our peacefilled presence, show and share the presence of Jesus with those around us. Paul exhorts us: "Let the peace of Christ rule your hearts." (Colossians 3:15, NIV)

      Your pastor, in peace and stillness, because I know God knows,

        James T. Hurd





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