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A word from Pastor Carl McCormack:

 

O Lord, how long shall I cry for help,

    and you will not listen?

Or cry to you “Violence!”

    and you will not save?

 Why do you make me see wrongdoing

    and look at trouble?

Destruction and violence are before me;

    strife and contention arise.

 O Lord, I have heard of your renown,

    and I stand in awe, O Lord, of your work.

In our own time revive it;

    in our own time make it known;

    in wrath may you remember mercy.

(Habakkuk 1:2-4; 3:2-3)

 

Dear friends,

          So much has happened in our country recently and, like me, I’m sure it troubles you deeply.

          While watching the riotous crowd break into the Capitol Building last Wednesday I stood in disbelief. I could not understand why my sisters and brothers, fellow countrymen, who claimed pride in this country and what it stands for, would seek to intentionally tear it down and destroy it.

          Days have passed. The news sources have tried to give us details and motives. In interviews senators and congressmen/women speak with two voices, both conflicted logically and intellectually. Now, I know this isn’t new. Whenever people disagree and hold opposing views on a particular subject, there can be an angry exchange of words, and even threats of violence. But I still do not understand why this has happened, or why this violence is being threatened to reoccur in the near future.

          At the regularly scheduled meeting of session this past Sunday morning, I asked the elders for any thoughts or suggestions as to how we might connect with the membership of the church to help you process your thoughts and help you to make some sense of the events of the past week. One suggestion from the Christian Education Committee chair was that we might suggest the reading and study of the minor Prophet, Habakkuk. To be honest, it had been years since I had read the prophet’s writing, but after re-reading his words it became apparent to me that Habakkuk is minor only in its length, not in the clarity or poignancy of his words. I think anyone reading this short bit of Scripture would discover that these words written over 2,600 years ago can resonate with our current confusion, distress, and anger.

          This is a time that calls for prayer. But sometimes our prayers can seem so inadequate; our words lacking. Yet, prayer is called for. Should you have trouble framing your thoughts and finding the right words to say, always remember that God already knows what’s troubling you; the Spirit of God speaks for us when we can’t seem to find the right words. Pray. Pray with confidence, because this is God’s world, and you are one of God’s children. And God is waiting to hear from you.

          I want to share with you the lyrics of a song that is in the new Glory to God hymnal. The lyrics are written by the poet, Ruth Duck, and based on the 10th Psalm and set to the tune Morning Song. It is number 786 entitled, Why Stand So Far Away, My God?

 

Why stand so far away, my God? Why hide in times of need? The proud, unbridled, chase the poor, and curse you in their greed.

 

 Why do you hide when, full of lies, they murder and betray? They wait to pounce upon the weak as lions stalk their prey.

 

The weak are crushed and fall to earth, the wicked strut and preen. Why in these cruel, chaotic times cannot your face be seen?

 

 In ages past you heard the voice of those the proud oppress. Remember those who suffer now, who cry in deep distress.

 

 Arise, O God, and lift your hand; bring justice to the poor. Come, help us stop the flow of blood! Let terror reign no more!

 

Let us pray together.

The Lord be with you.

 

God of the ages,

in your sight nations rise and fall,

and pass through times of peril.

Now when our land is troubled,

be near to judge and save.

May leaders be led by your wisdom;

may they search your will and see it clearly.

If we have turned from your way,

help us to reverse our ways and repent.

Give us your light and your truth to guide us;

through Jesus Christ,

who is Lord of this world, and our Savior. Amen.

Rev. Carl McCormack

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