Shaken But Not Forsaken

Dear Granada family,

When the world felt like it was coming apart at the seams, Martin Luther found refuge in the Lord.  The words of Psalm 46 seemed particularly comforting to him:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea… Psalm 46:1-2

Indeed, each day seemed to bring unprecedented changes. In the process, his own life was put in danger. He had every reason to be afraid, but far larger than his fears was the Lord’s presence. Even when the earth trembled and life felt uncertain, God’s power and presence gave him peace and joy.

Luther had this experience more than 500 years ago and his moment gave birth to a renewed faith in God that swept the world. Israel also experienced the faithfulness of God, when Psalm 46 was recorded, more than 1,500 years before Luther.  This is our moment to rest in our sovereign God. How can we do that?

First, we can, by reading scripture and turning to the Lord, join the long train of believers that rediscovered God’s faithful love.  This is an opportunity for prayer and worship. As the days seem to grow darker, even more we need the light of Jesus, a light that cannot be extinguished.  His light drives out fear and gives us a place to stand. We have always been vulnerable but now we feel it more acutely. Let this time be one of spiritual renewal. Let us pray for one another and for those most affected medically and economically.

Second, let’s find ways to serve and love. From the beginning, Christians have responded to crises by stepping toward people with acts of mercy. They have cared for the sick, comforted the hurting, and supported the most vulnerable. One great hymn reminds us that “with deeds of love and mercy, the heavenly kingdom comes.” In the process, God will call a few of us to make huge sacrifices.  Our medical professionals are on the front lines as well as many of those in the service sector. Let’s pray for them and their safety. 

Jesus stepped toward those that were hurting and sick. All of us can find ways to serve. Social distancing will create loneliness and a sense of isolation for many. We can work to provide connection by spending time on the phone, letting others know they are not alone in this.  Praying over the phone with someone else is more than a comfort.  It helps to bridge the distance between you and also invites the Spirit of God to join you in your prayers.  Let’s reach out to those in our small groups and classes for prayer.

We can also deliver food and supplies to those that need to be in isolation. Care packages of groceries accompanied by notes of encouragement provide a lifeline to those worried about having what they will need. We’d love to know if you are willing to assist in this way so that Granada can have a team of helpers available.

Our diaconal resources will be available to those overwhelmed by the changes in the economy. I hope you will not be afraid to ask for help if you need it and to offer help if you have to share.  In this way, you show forth the mercy and grace of Jesus.

Martin Luther found hope in God. He found God faithful to his promises. He documented his experience in the hymn “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” One stanza reminds us:

Did we in our own strength confide,

Our striving would be losing;

Were not the right Man on our side,

The Man of God’s own choosing.

Dost ask who that may be?

Christ Jesus, it is he;

Lord Sabaoth is his name,

From age to age the same,

And He must win the battle.

Luther learned that what was happening to him was also a spiritual battle. It was a time when he knew he had to lean deeply on the Lord’s power and seek the Lord’s presence. That is our moment as well. 

With love in Christ,

Worth

PS Yes, we will be meeting for worship this weekend. We will keep you abreast of our schedule as things progress.  Do reach out to us if we can support you in any way. Our hotline number is: 305.444.5376.  One of our elders, pastors or deacons will be available and will take your call. Do reach out to us.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Sandy on March 19, 2020 at 1:31 am

    Thank you! Great to read.

    Reply

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