Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – October 20

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

When the Courts take everything ensuring your death, though you’ve done nothing wrong, the social contract disintegrates … further.

When Someone is peels away your protection from harm,

is it evil or good?

It is evil … and it is God’s blessing.

Ecclesiastes 7:14

On the day of prosperity be joyful, and on the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other, so that mortals may not find out anything that will come after them.

Romans 8:28

We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.

Words of Grace For Today

There are all sorts of explanations for why evil exists.

Prosperity is easy for humans to explain; we worked hard for our success and deserve the privilege and comforts afforded by our prosperity.

Adversity is also easy for humans to explain, as long as it is not their own adversity; they did not work hard but were lazy, or made mistakes because they were not smart, or were corrupt (like everyone else) and got caught, or took risks and had bad luck and were caught out … or … and on go the explanations.

Neither are right, necessarily nor primarily, nor are sufficiently correct to stand long on their own. The beginning of the real explanation for prosperity is that God blesses creation with some success. The beginning of the real explanation for adversity is that God blesses creation with some failure.

From there, why we and others enjoy prosperity or adversity, is a complicated mix of circumstances of time and environment and agency – a bit of our own, but mostly others’ agency.

Ecclesiastes’ explanation is interesting: God makes prosperity and adversity so that we do not know what will come in the future. That may well be. It teaches us that ONLY God can be trusted, not adversity (for example of our enemies) nor prosperity.

Paul in many and various ways points us to rely on God alone. Here he provides the reassurance that all things work for good … (which is blatantly not true, but he qualifies it with) for those who love God. Which is blatantly not true, for example all the martyrs through the generations, and all those Christians who have suffered at the cruel hands of others.

Paul is right though in a more profound sense: while the circumstances and suffering of our lives may not seem like they are worked out for good, ours or anyone else’s, God works in marvellous ways to bring blessings from evil. In the end God always will win, and therefore even when we suffer not, God will bring good out of it for us and for all others. In this way Paul is most certainly right. God works all things for good! for everyone.

Even our most evil, cruel enemies.

God is creator and always the victor. We are blessed to be God’s children, adopted by the sacrifice of Jesus.

There is a story of an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbours came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically. “May be,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbours exclaimed. “May be,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbours again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune. “May be,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbours congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out. “May be,” said the farmer.

We can answer with the farmer, “Maybe.” With Christ we can answer to both prosperity and adversity: “It is God’s blessings, no maybe about it.”

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Sept 21

Monday, September 21, 2020

Golden Sun

Living Water

Beauty and Life Forever

Psalm 88:9-10

My eye grows dim through sorrow. Every day I call on you, O Lord; I spread out my hands to you. Do you work wonders for the dead? Do the shades rise up to praise you? Selah

John 17:15

I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one.

Words of Grace For Today

Water. It is the basis of life, the cleanser, the thirst quencher ….

What can we do when our eyes water with tears of sorrow?

What can we do when we call on God, with upraised hands … and yet there is no answer.

What will come of us when there is no more life in us?

We will no longer be able to call on God, nor will God be able to answer us.

So while we live … yes, while we live we call upon God for all good things, with hearts filled with gratitude, and hopes of high expectations for all that God has promised.

The real challenge of life is not mere logistic chaos to organize, or engineering problems to designed to a resolution, or stories of lives that have gone amok, and not even the real lives that the stories represent. The real challenge in life is to face, with almost no expectation of relief, the deepest depths of the Devil’s work. For we knowing we could only be lost if we are left on our own.

Yet, there is no danger, for Christ is with us, not to take us out of the world to another place. No, Christ has stood with us each hour as the Devil works his terrible wiles, and protected us, and given us the best that life has to offer: Living Water. This is the water that quenches all thirst in life, and gives us life so abundant it carries us beyond all imagination.

Each day, drinking in the living water, we call upon God, knowing that Jesus hears our every word and the Holy Spirit guides us to be all that we can be, as God’s children.

Selah!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Sept 5

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Light Ice

Ice and Floods

Heat and Drought

Nothing compares to the Evil humans inflict on others.

Isaiah 25:4

You have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat, when the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm.

Revelation 2:8-9

May the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be kept sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

Since Jesus’ record replaces ours, since our baptisms we have known and been able to trust even in the most horrific and trying times that our record before God will be sound and blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Not even the miracles of God (or so we say) can (other than by replacing ours with Jesus’ record) keep our spirit and soul and body sound and blameless at all. We have and keep free choice, which in exercising we continually sin, i.e. we are hardly sound and blameless.

The question is not if we can be sinless. If it were no one would be acceptable to God, and the Kingdom of God would be empty forever.

The question, after God favours us and blesses us, what are we going to do with this ultimate favour and blessing?

Then we may pray earnestly that it can be said of us that when the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm, then we have been a refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needy in their distress, a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.

There is no shortage today of the blast of the ruthless. Now is the time to act. It is the time to be the refuge to the poor, a refuge to the needing in their distress, and a shelter from all that comes, whether it is the vicious rain, hail, snow and windstorms of climate change (the ‘new normal this year is last year’s extreme weather‘), or the blistering heat, wind and locust of drought, or the flooding of rain that will not let up.

The real blast, as in every generation, comes not from nature, not even pandemics like Covid 19. The real blast comes from ruthless and evil people, possessed by the empty promises of the Devil. The two legged wild animals bring more disaster to more people, more quickly than any new weather storm.

The dangerous ones are those who say there is no danger. They claim with words and/or actions: There is no more Covid19. It’s back to normal. We’re done with Covid 19. There is none here. They likely will not die or be maimed by Covid 19 or any other real danger. They will be oblivious to the loss of life around them, unless it invades their own home, and some even then pay it no heed.

May God protect us. We may wish that we can be sound and blameless, but that is the first step to ignoring our place, station, calling and weaknesses as the two legged children of God that Jesus calls us to be.

We still wish for what is not possible, and then we pray: May God protect us. May God protect you.

Before it is too late.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Aug 27

Thursday, August 27, 2020

(Irene Moore Davis/Twitter)

History of Slavery

currency of slavery

Work for Freedom, also in oneself

Joshua 24:17

It is the Lord our God who brought us and our ancestors up from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, and who did those great signs in our sight. He protected us along all the way that we went, and among all the peoples through whom we passed.

Matthew 28:19-20

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

Words of Grace For Today

We have ‘our orders’. Given to us by the one who brought us up out of slavery in Egypt.

It is all really simple. It is all really complicated.

God sends Moses to lead the people out of slavery in Egypt. Remember the people went there as famine refugees, welcomed by Joseph, Pharaoh’s second in command. They were welcomed and well provided for during the famine and the early years following.

Times change. Joseph’s people multiplied, Joseph is long dead and his Pharaoh. The powerful Egyptians resent the outsiders thriving, so they enslave them and force them into hard labour.

Slavery is a matter of getting significant attention today, as established families in Canada are recognized with street named after them, and now their participation in slavery is exposed. Who we honour and why says much of who we are today, and the powerful of Canada are as much blind to the suffering of those on whose backs they make and maintain their wealth as ever in the bleak history of human oppression and slavery. There is push back. There ought to be always.

God pushed back through Moses and led the people out of slavery into the wilderness for 40 years. It took a generation to cleanse the effects of slavery, to build the people into those who could occupy their own land.

Generations later the people expect and hope that the Christ will lead them to throw off the oppression of the Roman empire. Today many people expect and hope that the Christ will lead them to through off the oppression of so many different governments and multi-national corporations. There is push back to the oppression and slavery. There ought to be always.

Jesus does not come to create yet another new revolution, after which yet another new group of powerful people can oppress others, sometimes those who earlier oppressed them. Jesus comes instead to end all oppression and slavery. Jesus works to transform individuals and families and communities and towns and cities and countries, so that from the inside the attitudes of slavery and oppression are wiped out of each heart, until in the Kingdom of God all slavery and oppression is obliterated. The wonder is that as one’s heart is transformed in baptism through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, slavery and oppression’s effects on ones heart, mind and strength are removed. It is as if through baptism we enter 40 years in the wilderness, so that the effects of slavery and oppression are removed from us entirely.

We work to remove slavery and all kinds of oppression as free people, as blessed people, as peaceful people. We go out into the world as the people who invite people from all other nations to join us, as the people who bring Jesus’ commands: to love one another as ourselves, and our enemies, and as the people with whom Jesus abides even to the end of time.

We are not alone in the wilderness, no matter the challenges, not even Covid 19 and everything that comes with it, irritating precautions and the suffering when precautions are not kept or are not enough.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Aug 16

Sunday, August 16, 2020

Looking out from down low

Psalm 136:23

It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures for ever.

Hebrews 13:3

Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.

Words of Grace For Today

It is so easy to forget our past, when we were so much less than we are now. Become wealthy and soon one easily forgets what it is like to struggle to survive without enough money. With God and God’s people it is different, though.

Become educated and it is easy to forget how it is to be ignorant and vulnerable. With God and God’s people it is different, though.

Yet as one becomes more educated one learns that one really did and still does know so little. This is closer to how it is in our relationship with God, if we care at all for the Truth of Jesus’ love and life for us.

When God forgives us our sins, it may seem easy to forget our sins, now that Grace has saved us. We can easily pretend or delude ourselves that we somehow no longer need forgiveness, though as we grow, if we learn to be honest with ourselves then we recognize that we still sin, and more profoundly and profusely then we care ever to admit. We desperately need to be forgiven, more it seems each passing day.

When we learn this anew each day, then it makes sense to give thanks to God for all that we are, for we have and are nothing on our own. Only by God’s hand do we have anything given to us as stewards of it, nor are we anything other than the chemicals our body is made of, except that the Holy Spirit breathes life into us each day.

As we remember how much we daily depend on God’s good Graces, then it is not difficult to remember each day to pray for and work to support those in prison.

Yes, there are some real criminals in prison. They are people capable of great destruction to property and person without much thought of the damage they do. There are also many minorities, especially men, who have been taken advantage of and invited into a world where crime is the only way of life. There also are a great number of people, men and women, who are falsely convicted and never did anything to deserve to be put in prison.

Someone decided they would be their target. They would be lied about, false witnesses would be found against the person, and false reports and charges are brought against them … and judges easily lie about the evidence before them and convict people, on the basis of easily identifiable lies. The measure of correct judgments is that a fully informed, reasonable person would agree with the judge’s decision. But one has to be willing to lie, and reasonable has to be not that the person is actually guilty, but someone with enough money or power wants this person convicted, and the fully informed part of that has to be understood as meaning one had to understand that someone with wealth or power or a sadistic habit has to be satisfied … and yet another innocent person goes to jail.

We are to remember all the people in jails, not from our place of comfort and privilege, but as if the prison director had us in custody and was using the guards, some violent, some friendly, to sadistically ‘play’ with us, to torment us. And that some health care people working in prisons go out of their way to provide inappropriate, even deadly health care to prisoners/us; because if we are in jail then surely we deserve no good health care.

For people tortured, well it helps to have been tortured at some point, so that we can not only empathize with those who are tortured, but that we can also remember what it was like to be tortured.

If you have made it thus far in life without being tortured, then watch perhaps 12 Years a Slave, for an insightful presentation of what being enslaved is like, and to be tortured, having one’s life taken from one, piece by piece.

Then we can wake to each morning, give God thanks for all we have, and fervently pray for others’ in real need. One does not need much to be thankful. One needs only eyesight to see the world’s beauty. Or eyes to see the people in the neighbourhood. Or ears to hear the loons’ cry echoing across the water. Then one can be thankful, that one has something, has eyes, has ears.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Aug 13

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Sacrificing a Tree

a dead tree for firewood is one thing,

stripping the bark to kill a living tree for no good purpose is evil.

Isaiah 53:5

But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed.

John 11:51-52

He did not say this on his own, but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus was about to die for the nation, and not for the nation only, but to gather into one the dispersed children of God.

Words of Grace For Today

We humans understand how innocent people or animals are sacrificed to ‘pay a debt’ and free us. There are two kinds of sacrifice, one destructive evil, one gracious goodness.

Rene Girard developed a few ideas that many have applied and adapted. At the core is his mimetic theory that we ‘remember’ we desire something by seeing others having it, which causes senseless competition between even friends. Competition leads to conflict and conflict cannot be between friends, so the friends use a scapegoat (an innocent, vulnerable bystander) on whom they pile fictitious blame. This cathartic release of blame onto a third party relieves the conflict between the two friends and they continue on, the desire that caused the conflict resolves into the senselessness it was at the beginning. The friendship is saved, the friends continue on.

The vulnerable, innocent scapegoat is destroyed.

This is the destructive evil sacrifice.

Girard interprets the story of Jesus’ sacrifice for us as God’s clear statement that scapegoating innocent, vulnerable people is not acceptable or needed, just as God’s clear statement by calling Abraham to the mountain to sacrifice his only son Isaac, and then stopping Abraham, was that God did not want any child sacrificed to himself.

God clearly does not want destructive evil sacrifice by any humans.

God does send his son, Jesus, to live, preach, teach, heal and sacrifice himself to the corrupt power of his time, the Roman empire and the Chief Priest. This is the sacrifice of gracious goodness. It is chosen by the one surrendering to sacrifice. The sacrifice does not destroy innocent and vulnerable people. Exactly the opposite, it gives life to all.

Jesus calls us to wisely sacrifice, sometimes little, sometimes everything, in order that other people will be able to live. We do not send someone else to be the sacrifice. We go ourselves, knowing that all we are and have is a gift from God, and if God can use us to give life, then as followers of Jesus we can give of ourselves, and even give everything of ourselves, in order that others may live, and live in the abundance of Grace, Love and Hope that God created us all to enjoy.

So much in life tries to get us to strive to achieve and receive at others’ cost (the destructive evil sacrifice). This is not the way of life for the followers of Jesus, and for all the children of God.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – Aug 12

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Anyone There?

Reeds, Weeds, Bushes and Trees

Does anyone hear?

1 Kings 8:52

Let your eyes be open to the plea of your servant, and to the plea of your people Israel, listening to them whenever they call to you.

John 14:14

If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

Words of Grace For Today

Praying to be heard, and a promise to be heard carte blanch.

Being Gaslit taught me much, much that I would hope no one else would have to learn: what it is like to have one’s children and one’s beloved turn on you, telling lies that are beyond abominations; what it is like to be condemned in the church, community and courts for things you’ve never done; what it is like to be silenced so that no one will listen to you, no matter what you do there is no one, and talking to one’s self goes nowhere. It is to be ghosted by everyone.

And then I was made to sit and listen to the unending lies about me with no way to interrupt and prove they were lies. And when I was given opportunity to speak I was bullied, harangued and Gaslit even more.

So much to say. So many lies told that others use to define me.

My prayer was desperate: to be heard. God listen as you know the truth. Let me speak and make these people listen. Give me your ear, Your heart, and at least a sliver of hope that this nightmare, this twilight zone will end.

But it never ends.

At least now I can speak, though no one listens. People still ghost me. I know the lies do not define me. The lies define those who told them, and those who, knowing truth still used the lies as if they were true, and those who do not stop to think that the lies are not truth.

How terrible it is to be defined by the lies one has told, lies that destroyed other people, and hurt oneself as well. How ghastly it must be to be such a person, where no direction is down or up, or right or wrong. Everything is winning and surviving and having more money … no matter who you destroy in the process.

When I speak the truth, people run and then ghost me.

God when will it end!!

Then Jesus’ words give this hope: If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it.

God, I ask, as all people have since the beginning of time, hear me and give me meaning and love and hope …

hope that truth will prevail,

hope that the children will be safe from abuse and gaslighting and from being brought to sacrifice truth for money, and life for money, and love for money.

hope that God will hear what is in our hearts

and give us what God knows we need.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – July 20

Monday, July 20, 2020

John Lewis

Get into Trouble.

Good Trouble.

Isaiah 46:12-13

Listen to me, you stubborn of heart, you who are far from deliverance: I bring near my deliverance, it is not far off, and my salvation will not tarry; I will put salvation in Zion, for Israel my glory.

Titus 2:11-12

For God shows no partiality. All who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.

Words of Grace For Today

“Get in trouble. Good trouble. Necessary trouble.” – John Lewis (February 21, 1940 – July 17, 2020).

One of the many who took part in the freedom rides, integrated interstate bus trips (a right guaranteed by the Supreme Court), he was beaten many times, once nearly killing him.

Stubborn hearts of racists and police who were eager to willing illegally arrest black and whites travelling together brought hardship, bigotry and hatred to the fore many times over.

Stubborn hearts do the same still today, everywhere. Even here.

Last night three quads showed up, about an hour apart, the last at 2:30 am, helping them selves to the wood I’ve collect, cut and stacked to help minimize the dangers of the coming winter. All together they took about two day’s worth, simply to party away with a fire in front of them. Shame on them.

I startled the last with a flashlight from 10 feet away, since he seemed only focused on finding the wood to take. He sped off running over a pine tree, careening to turn around to leave up on two wheels and nearly running off the path into the trees.

Maybe that will put an end to the theft.

God deals with stubborn hearts all the time, theirs and all of ours. God comes close, well God is always close, but God goes out of God’s way to make apparent to us God’s presence with us.

God shows no partiality, all is just based on truth, in God’s judgments of us. And there will be judgment for each of us.

The trouble these thieves get up to is trouble, but hardly good trouble or necessary trouble.

It’s just evil trouble. The devil’s work.

The end of course, carried on far enough, will be that I do not have enough wood for winter; and their theft can cause my death.

Good trouble, necessary trouble, is the kind that puts a stop to this kind of petty criminality, and to the widespread biases in the justice system, from the RCMP bullying, harassment and violence, to the Courts that turn a blind eye to the truth of abuse done to men by women (and men.) That blind eye invites women to lie profusely to the Courts, and for RCMP to act far outside properly or fairly … and everyone gets away with it.

Except God does judge fairly, equitably.

Thanks be for Jesus, who gives us his record for our judgment, for otherwise we would all be wiped off the face of the earth all before breakfast at 6 am.

Because Jesus steps in for us, we not go through life, making our way with violence. Jesus makes our way for us. We need not go through life full of anger. Each will get their due justice delivered by God. We need not go through life ashamed of lies told about us, or false accusations, or even false convictions. These do not define us. Jesus defines us … as his followers.

With Jesus always with us, the Holy Spirit guiding us, and God’s love pouring over us each day, we can boldly take on the trouble, the good trouble, that God sends us into each day. We do not need be shy or self-righteous (as if trouble did not belong to us at all).

No, today we can courageously get ourselves into trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble, trouble that will make a good difference possible for many other people.

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 29

Monday, June 29, 2020

Burdened?

Bowed

but

Not Broken

Daniel 6:23

Then the king was exceedingly glad and commanded that Daniel be taken up out of the den. So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of harm was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

2 Corinthians 4:9

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

Words of Grace For Today

The challenges of this life, Covid-19 being a relatively small one, can kick the breath right out of us. Sometimes, like Daniel thrown into the hungry lions’ den, we get a small reprieve before our enemies’ tools/animals of destruction tear us apart and consume us limb, by limb.

Fewer times than we notice other miracles during our short lives on this marvellously created planet, sometimes we survive the tools/animals hungry for our pieces, together which make up our lives. At those times, like Daniel, it is good to have friends in high places with real power, like kings and queens.

When it comes to the challenges of life beyond this life, in the battle between the Devil and God, we have no chance at all to even be effective on the playing field, the stage or the battle arena. The Devil always gets his devouring ways with us – unless the Holy Spirit steps in and defends us.

At that time it is good to be baptized, because in spite of all the doubt the Devil and his minions can create in us, we have a sure sign that God steps in for us, we bear the Cross of Jesus on our foreheads, emblazoned their never to be erased.

That cross does not fend off discomfort, doubts, physical hardships, or assaults of enemies. It does guarantee us that God never walks away from us. We can even turn on God, trying to create our own way forward, and God is still there, carrying us, caring for us, nurturing us back to full health.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

This is a two-fold promise: first that we will not be crushed, driven to despair, forsaken, or destroyed.

Second it is Paul’s full disclosure that following Christ, our enemies will afflict, perplex, persecute, and strike us down.

It’s good to have a cross on one’s forehead to remember, rely on, and especially to have a saviour in the highest places, as well as in the lowest places and everywhere in between.

Trust God. Everything else is a passing illusion. Trust God, no matter that you will not get out of this life alive; but you will live eternally, starting the day you were baptized.

Hallelujah Always!

Facing Covid 19: Daily Words of Grace – June 17

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Light into Every Darkness

The Light of Christ Sets

The Basis of Our Hope

Which Has No Other Basis in Experience

The Light of Christ Will Rise Again

Psalm 100:2

Worship the Lord with gladness; come into his presence with singing.

Colossians 1:12

Give thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.

Words of Grace For Today

The Movie “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood” portrays a hero who can with compassion, listening and friendship transform us from angry, cynical realists who doubt anyone is or can be really good, into kind, compassionate, loving spouses and fathers (or mothers, not to leave anyone out.)

The movie’s byline is We Could All Use a Little Kindness. Today’s polarized political worlds, the echo chamber of self absorbed opinions available on line, and the falsehoods presented as truths by those we previously would have respected, leave us needing kindness, compassion, and a renewed hope in humanity. We need a few new heroes to inspire us to be better people, especially with those people who are different than us.

We need a bit of truth to prevail, and decency: Hope Lutheran Edmonton’s council just voted and distributed material to the members: They know it is against their constitution, but they have, without proper process to leave the ELCIC voted to hold a mail-in vote to call a non-ELCIC pastor. It is blatant breach of trust.

The Bishop or the Bishop’s representation must be present at the meeting for it to be legal.

But if the council will vote to act against the constitution, and blatantly so, who can trust that any of the rest of the process will be anything close to fair or even decent.

That, and many stories like it, leave us knowing we need a LOT more kindness, compassion, and a renewed hope in humanity. We need a few new heroes to inspire us to be better people, especially with those people who are different than us. We need a few good people, a new kind of hero, to stand up to blatant evil and put it in it’s place.

There is nothing to support this hope, or to fill this need.

Instead we worship the Lord with gladness and come into his presence with singing. We give thanks to the Father, who has enabled us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light.

For no matter what or who assaults us in this life, we know who transforms us from wretched sinners into saints, who can only share God’s sacrificial Grace with all people, even those who exercise such blatant, and raw evil against the little ones of Christ.

We know that our very breath relies not on the goodness of other sinners. Neither does the terribleness of others’ sins take our breath, our spirit, our faith, our gratitude, our love for all people, nor our hope from us. For nothing can separate us from the love of God, and the love of God is what gives us life, no matter what else we face.

Thanks be to God.

Covid 19, you have got nothing on the sin and hurt that people are capable of causing others. We are thankful for all the people who are kinder, more compassionate, and more loving, having grown through the challenges of Covid 19.

Stay safe, for yourself, but even more so for those around you! We are in this together, this entire journey on the good creation earth.