Dear SDUMC Family,
What a great blessing it was to share a great spirit of Christian unity with all of you on World Communion Sunday last week. The incredible Hula Praise Worship Team helped move us into the Aloha spirit. I went home with a full heart…
…and then came Monday morning when I started to hear about the events in Las Vegas. I also learned of friends who were at the concert and then the horrific amount of victims…my heart went quickly from full to almost empty.
Throughout the day so many questions (Why? Who? How?) swirled around in my mind? Then a friend from high school mentioned my name in a Facebook post, “Hoping maybe Pastor John Shaver has some comforting words amidst all that is happening in the world right now?” At that moment I shared a few scriptures and said, “Pray and Share Hope!” Of course, I wanted to say more, but at times there are just no words. (I take comfort in these times for the passage from Romans 8:26, “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.”)
I continued to pray throughout the day, and I always find it amazing how God speaks to me in differing ways. I was on the treadmill at the gym, and I happened to catch an interview on a news show in which they were interviewing one of the victims from her hospital bed. The reporter asked her, “How are you feeling?” The woman replied, “Of course, I’m in shock, but I also am thanking God that I am breathing and have another day to share hope with the world.” As she continued, it seemed as if she was talking directly to me, “Please don’t take one day for granted and keep spreading the good so we can show children how good this world can be.” As you can imagine that last statement reminded me that evil doesn’t have the last word…John 1:5 reminds us, “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”
Of course, our hearts still hurt and we continue to pray for those who are grieving and those who are recovering. We are also called to, “…love one another: just as I have loved you…” (John 13:34)
I hope you’ll join me Sunday as we pray for peace and share about ways that we can share “the good” and hope to our community and world. One way will occur the following Sunday at Light Your World our day of service where others can experience God’s love through all of us being the hands and feet of Christ.
I look forward to being with you at 8, 9 or 10:30 AM!
Grace, Peace and Prayers, John
PS. Don’t forget to spread the new about the Pancake Breakfast on Sunday from 10 AM-Noon to help those who are recovering from hurricanes … one more way to “engage our community” by sharing God’s amazing gift of love! Also, invite other friends to the concert on Sunday afternoon. Sharon Watson and friends will be sharing an amazing gift of music at 4 PM. Dietrich Bonhoeffer once said, “Music… will help dissolve your perplexities and purify your character and sensibilities, and in time of care and sorrow, will keep a fountain of joy alive in you.”