The weeks keep flying past and the events of the news keep looking like such a mixed lot.
Sadly it is hard not to focus on the negative despite trying to keep my mind focused on the coming Advent season of joy and happy Christmas greetings.
Sunday, November 10, was our day of Remembrance to remember those who have fallen in battle for our often ignored freedoms.
I think that while my pacifistic side wants all war and violence to just go away, I am also reminded there have been and are wicked and evil people out there who want only their own plans to succeed regardless who gets hurt and that we must resist these evil people.
The biggest news just days before, was of the Typhoon Haiyan hitting the Philippines. The destruction and devastation once again shows us how helpless mankind really is in the face of the natural forces out there. And then we were reminded this was the 25th tropical storm to affect the Philippine territory this year.
The sheer loss of life is heartbreaking, thankfully it is turning out to be less than originally expected, but heartrending none the less.
And the news goes on and on of other things beyond our control or people doing horrible things to others. The economic situation of our world is still not recovering the way we’d like. Sadly, pouring through the news reveals more discouraging events than we really want to wade through and so we are wracked by the thought of “why?”
Which leads me to my annual pilgrimage to Thanksgiving, and the reminder that in everything with prayer and supplications we are to give thanks. So as I reflect on the bad, I also must stop the pity party and remember a lot of good takes place in my life as well. Finding that balance between the evil that is the reflection of a fallen, sinful world and the grace of God that says the rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous. The reminder that good happens even in the face of, and despite, bad events.
Which brings me to the point of many of Paul’s salutations in the Epistles as he says more than once: “I thank God upon my every remembrance of you” and I am reminded that my things to be most thankful for is not the stuff of life but the people that God has allowed me to meet and know.
The fact that, due to modern technology, I can see my brother as I chat with him from Brechin most Mondays via Skype©. That my life was, through some amazing conversations, pointed to a place like Brechin where I know so many great folk. I can be thankful for my family that I share a home with. I have folk in my church life that bless me and remind me that the gospel is still making a difference. And I can go on and on, and with American Thanksgiving next week, perhaps I will do.
Rev. Jon Bergen
Brechin Baptist Fellowship