The return to standard time. The presidential election. The debate over its results. The more-obvious onset of autumn. Veterans’ Day.
More coronavirus cases nationally, in Texas, and even in our East Texas Counties. Near exhaustion from those and whatever other stressors we each experience in our community, church, family, and individual lives.
Recently there seems to have been a lot to deal with, and the immediate future may look to us equally bleak.
Whether schools will continue in person. Upcoming holidays under the coronavirus threat. The voting by those who actually elect the president. Winter weather, such as it is in our part of Texas. The shortest day of the year. Whatever changes a continued Trump administration or new Biden administration might bring to every aspect of our lives. Things we might not even imagine and so for which we hardly could begin to be prepared.
“For everything there is a season,” the Divinely-inspired teacher of Ecclesiastes said, “and a time for every purpose under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV). The omniscient God certainly knows what each one of us has gone, is going, and will be going through. For, at a minimum, He has permitted it in His unfathomably deep wisdom (Romans 11:33).
That same God loves even the fallen world with an unfathomably deep love that sent His Son, Jesus the Christ, to die on the cross that whoever repents and believes in Him should not die eternally, as his or her sins deserve, but live eternally (John 3:16). So, we seek and receive that greatest blessing in His Word and Sacraments.
“Shall we receive good from God,” Job asked his wife, “and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10 ESV). Yet, Job perhaps wrongly assumed he could tell the difference.
God’s Word tells us that, for those who love God, He works all things together for the good of conforming them to the image of His Son, so that He might be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters (Romans 8:28-29).
Yes, as a Collect (Prayer) of the Church confesses, the Lord God calls His servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown.
But, He also gives us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that His hand is leading us and His love supporting us, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
The Rev. Dr. Jayson S. Galler is Pastor of Pilgrim Lutheran Church in Kilgore. You can reach him through the congregation’s website: www.pilgrimlc.org.