Friday, August 23, 2013

Morning Joy

My heart continues to be weighed down by the news of violence streaming in from Egypt and Syria as well as other places in the Middle East. I find it hard to wrap my mind around the loss and the pain suffered as a result of so much violence and destruction. I was especially saddened by news of the burning of churches in Egypt. Even though I know this is not the first time such a thing has happened, nor will it be the last, I still wonder what kind of person burns a house of worship. Any house of worship.  Maybe we people who gather for worship regularly present a more powerful threat than we realize. With our current electronic connections around the world, events elsewhere can provide a visceral punch to the gut almost as they are happening. Fortunately, at least on occasion, good news also travels quickly. I saw a picture of people worshipping on Sunday in Egypt in their burned-out church, and I read a proclamation by the Secretary-General of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Egypt that reminded his readers, “the Church is not buildings and bricks; but is the people of God who must testify about God with energy and clarity. Though some church facilities have been destroyed, still these congregations remain alive and vibrant, fulfilling their purpose to the fullest.”

Psalm 30 says:

[4]   Sing praises to the LORD, O you his faithful ones,  
          and give thanks to his holy name.  
[5]   For his anger is but for a moment;  
          his favor is for a lifetime.  
     Weeping may linger for the night,  
          but joy comes with the morning.

I like the promise that the dark night of weeping and despair is always, in God’s abundant grace, followed at some point by renewed joy. Good to remember, even in the midst of horrific violence and anguish when joy is not even a distant memory. With God all things are possible, even joy in the morning.

Grace and Peace,


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