As peacemakers, we can lead our churches in a divided and turbulent environment. Churches should be a sanctuary where people who act and think differently feel safe to discuss, explore and even change. A church is where God provides guidance in the midst of complex and often painful issues. A church is where God provides comfort and grace in the midst sin and strife.
We have been given a field. “What a person plants, he will harvest.” If we plant selfishness, ignore the needs of others, ignore God? We will harvest weeds. If we plant in response to God and allow God’s Spirit to work within us. We will harvest a beautiful crop: eternal life.
After the class, I took a walk to clear my head. It was cold but I was too preoccupied to notice. I looked up toward the top of the mountain and saw a bright light in the shape of a cross. It took a few minutes of climbing and walking to get there but finally I stood below a brightly lit cross that could be seen for miles. Despite the temperature, I somehow felt warm and secure beneath this shining beacon of light. It was as if Jesus himself was offering me comfort and reassurance.
Why am I sharing this story? I had a talent but that talent, that gift, that treasure, remained buried until a teacher offered encouragement. Teachers play a significant role in our education, but they also influence many other aspects of our lives such as ethics, attitude and even our career choice.
We all face scary circumstances occasionally. Some, as with my chickens are laughable. Others are very real, whether it’s losing a job, a trusted friend, facing sickness or even coping with death. There is fear of the unknown, fear of calamity, fear of people, fear of being misunderstood or rejected or criticized or forgotten or being mistreated. The question is not whether we are afraid? The question is “how will we cope with our fears?”
When people are in trouble, when problems become overwhelming, there is one Scripture that always provides comfort. “That part about the sheep,” Psalm 23 is probably the best known, most loved Scripture in the Bible. People in almost any circumstance find needed hope.