Dear brothers and sisters,
I write these words with a heavy heart as I reflect on the images that came to us earlier today from our nation’s capital. After some time in prayer and in Scripture, I want to share with you a couple of the things that God pressed upon my spirit.
We are people of prayer. Now is a time for us to be in fervent prayer before God. Let us pray for God’s mercy on our nation. Let us pray for God’s spirit of peace, unity and healing to pour onto our nation. Let us pray for Washington D.C., our nation’s leaders, law enforcement and also for those inciting violence. Let us pray for hearts to turn to Jesus and his ways. Brothers and sisters, please pray with me for these things.
We are people of peace. As I learned of the capital breach today, God’s Spirit brought these words of our Lord to my mind, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called the children of God.” There is much division in our nation today. God has called us to be bearers of the gospel of peace. In our words and in our actions we can be people who build bridges. We can be ambassadors of Christ. Christ has marked us to be his people right where we are.
I want to call us to prayer at this time. I want to call us to the presence of Jesus. Today’s events were scary and heartbreaking. But I am convinced that God will strengthen us with courage and hope. For we are his people. Christ has made us His own.
I thank God for you every morning when I wake up. I lift you in prayer each night when I go to rest.
With great affection,
Yesterday, (Wednesday, January 6) I had a lot of tears. As I watched the storming of our US Capitol in an attempt to undermine our US Government and Constitution, I wept. I was saddened for so many — those killed and/or injured, elected leaders in harm’s way, for those who routinely face danger in the face of violence and oppression, be it physical or with words. Yes, even tears for the riotors.
I admit, the older I get, the more I find my eyes welling up in tears. Sometimes they are tears of anguish, sometimes they are tears of fear, sometimes tears of sadness, sometimes tears of joy. I cry when I see injustice. I cry when I read Luke 4:18 (Read it!). Tears stream when I experience the love of my Pastor, and hear prophetic proclamation from the pulpit. I always cry now when I hear or sing “It is Well With My Soul”
“And Lord haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trumpet shall sound and the Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul.”
(Treat yourself. Google “Hugh Bonneville Christmas Concert” for the true moving story that
motivated these words by Horatio Spafford. Warning: You may have tears, too).
I am mindful of John 11:35. It comes in the midst of the story of Mary and Martha, and the comforting brought by Jesus to these sisters over the death of their brother Lazarus. A very short verse 35 simply says “Jesus wept”. The tears of Jesus wrapped Mary and Martha into his warm, caring, loving embrace. He shared their sorrow. Jesus shared deeply in the pain of their grieving.
A college professor of mine, many years ago, asked a question over and over again in a sermon. He would ask simply, “Are you weeping over the same things that Jesus weeps over?
The Biblical story goes on ~ Jesus called for Lazarus to come forth from the grave. My take, at least for today? — if I believe in the resurrection, and that the present fear and sadness is but temporary, then my tears need be only those of hope and joy.
I pray that I weep over the same things that Jesus weeps over, and that my tears are the declaration that “Even so, it is well with my soul”.