Spirit of Unity

Spirit of Unity

JANUARY 8, 2021

Friday Morning

First Church Family,

On Wednesday, before I was aware of the horrific events in our nation’s capital, I wrote my Newsletter letter to you that was emailed yesterday.

So much has happened since then. The events in Washington, D.C. were despicable, violent acts of terror and tyranny. Our nation is broken as never before in my lifetime, and we are all grieving the presence of division, distrust, and hatred.

As followers of Christ, we denounce tyranny and terror in all their forms. In a wonderful nation that was built on Judeo-Christian and democratic principles, there is no place for the violence and rage that we observed Wednesday.

However, I do remind us that we continue to live as people of hope, because of the presence of our Savior. He was sent to a needful, broken, darkened world: “to save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21 ESV)

How appropriate it has been that we were drawn to the theme of “the light of Bethlehem” during our Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany worship experiences, because the world in which we live, too, is filled with darkness.

Our hope comes from the truth that we are not alone, that our God is not overwhelmed by any of the events of our day, and that the powerful light of Christ is available to each of us and banishes all darkness.

Over the next days, please join me in prayer:

  • for that light to be present and acknowledged across our world;
  • for the spirit of unity and cooperation to be revived in our country, as we recover from this tragic moment;
  • for wisdom and understanding to fill the minds and hearts of our nation’s leaders;
  • and for the power and work of the Church of Jesus Christ, which is the hope of the entire world.

Our bishop, Paul Leeland, requests that we pray together the following prayer that appears in our United Methodist Book of Worship:

God of all 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, reverse our ways and help us to repent. Give us Your light and Your truth, and let them guide us; through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of this and all worlds, and our Savior. Amen.

May God bless and keep our nation, our church, and all of us during this perilous time.

Pastor Dave