“Pastor’s Letter Lent 2022”
While in Middletown New York serving the North Congregational Church, UCC, the 911 attacks against the World Trade Center Occurred. I could see the flume of smoke from the front steps of the church. Mid-morning, the Director of the Head Start Program which rented space from the church came to me and asked that I open the sanctuary to her staff. As we spoke, I made the decision to have a worship service at noon that infamous day. I chose Psalm 46 as the heart of my sermonette that day. This past week we have been witnessing the horrific attack of the Ukraine. Civilian targets have been decimated and many civilian lives lost. The war wages onward. Today we must again look to the psalmist as written in Psalm 46.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. Selah
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High. God is in the midst of the city; it shall not be moved; God will help it when the morning dawns. The nations are in an uproar, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. “Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.” The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
The word Selah found within the Psalm means “Pause.” Today, we must pause as we enter the season of ‘Lent’ a time of preparation. As we journey forward, we must pause and acknowledge that the current situation, around the globe, specifically in the Ukraine is in tumult. (A state of chaos trouble and upheaval.) We as Christians, followers of a Loving God, must pause opening our hearts as we pray for peace. Pause as we pray for the innocent. Pausing and praying for God’s peace and love to prevail. We must pause and pray as did the followers of Jesus at the time of his arrest as attested to in the scriptures.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Tim Woodard