Listening to the news in the past few days has been absolutely overwhelming. I find myself turning it all off and simply being in silence. Then my mind spins a bit and all I can do is let out a huge sigh. "Lord, have mercy" are the words that come to my lips.
In our passage this Sunday, we will hear from the book of Ephesians. It was the letter written to the early church in Ephesus, a town in present-day Turkey. Paul wrote while he was imprisoned in Rome. His purpose was to reveal a clearer understanding of the fullness of God: wise and full of grace. God has broken all the barriers through the death and resurrection of Jesus. This letter stands as a call for unity among all God's children. Paul wrote so that we would put our faith and trust in God who created all life, loves all creation, and inspires you and me to love God and one another.
In these troubling times, we read his words:
10 Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Our strength comes from God the Creator, Savior, and Holy Spirit, three in one. Bringing all our prayers together, we pray to the Holy Trinity, one God, now and forever. Paul ends his letter with "Peace to you ..." This is a peace that goes beyond our understanding, but has the power to fill our very souls, every minute of every day.
So we pray for all of God's children and all of God's creation. We pray for the joy of the Lord to rise up in the morning. Lord, have mercy, we pray, in the holy name of Jesus Christ. Amen
Believing it more strongly every day,