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Pastor Jim Jackson

Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church

Dear Lord, there’s much around us, and sometimes in us, that could easily depress us. 

We have gangs of outlaws bursting into businesses, brazenly carting off millions of dollars of merchandise. We witness wars in which everyone ultimately loses and cost thousands of innocent lives. Covid hangs on like Spanish moss on ancient oaks. Earth’s animals search for survival in an unceasing loss of habitat. Dear friends die with merciless diseases and all out of sync with our timing. Once we believed that weather, though often unpredictable, never seemed so devastating for the whole earth’s existence as we have known it. With any conscience at all, we who have so much anguish over those who have so little or nothing. Yesterdays sins, have become domesticated and even venerated. Violence against those unlike ourselves has become so common that it is almost anticipated on the evening’s news Shall we despair, throw in the towel, or party until the reverb of it all is snuffed out of our ears and feelings?

Could it be that our submerged fears and anxieties can be put on hold until we find a temporary, if not lasting, reprieve?

Dear Lord, perhaps we can learn from those of the past who seemingly stared oblivion in the face. They would include Abraham, struggling up that mountain with his son to be sacrificed asalamb,Josephthrowninto apit by his brothers and left to die, Esau robbed by his mother and brother of his father’s blessing, Elijah under the juniper tree, praying for death, Stephen, stoned to death while Saul stood by encouraging the mob., Later, Paul himself, stoned, beaten, and left for dead then eventually facing death in a cold, dark Roman prison.

And how about your son Jesus?

Born under the shadow of Herod’s death orders, rejected in his hometown, denied by Peter, betrayed by Judas, dying with his mother as a witness, and while dying, cried: “Father save me,” but settling for “not my will but thine be done.” Crucified, buried in a borrowed tomb, his enemies, even his followers, thinking that was it for sure. Yet after all that, the curtain was ripped from top to bottom, resurrection happened. Please remind us, reassure us, today that we are people of the resurrection—answering with a hearty YES to Jesus’ invitation: “Come unto me.” Lord, replace our doubts and fears with trust and confidence that come with our calling you “Our Father.”

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