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May 2, 2018, 10:16 AM

Letter from the Pastor for May 2018


The sad reality of our lives is that hopelessly broken relationships are all around us. In 2014 a study published in the American Sociological Review found that one in four people— said that they have no one with whom they can talk about their personal troubles or triumphs. If family members are not counted, the number doubles to more than half of Americans who have no one outside their immediate family with whom they can share confidences.” Loneliness therefore is a huge problem in our culture.

We crave relationship and work hard for approval of others in order to have closer relationships. Inability to win approval creates shame that deepens loneliness that that defies human effort to repair the brokenness. Guilt is the feeling you have done wrong but shame goes beyond guilt because you feel wrong and cannot ever be right. A shamed person craves relationship but is scared, humiliated and angry because so many of their relationships have failed. A shamed and lonely person has virtually given up hope that things can ever improve.

The disciples were lonely and ashamed when Jesus was arrested and killed. The disciples were filled with shame because their Lord was humiliated and they failed him. Whatever hope the disciples had in Jesus before his death was destroyed by the cross. Even after the resurrection the relationship between Jesus and his disciples was certainly broken. Could the disciples ever really trust Jesus again. Why would they follow him again, even after the resurrection? From their point of view it was not right for Jesus to leave them, it was not right that he was killed, it may not seem right or comprehensible that he was resurrected from the tomb. It would have been right to them if none of these things had happened, how could the lonely and shamed disciples accept it was right to follow the resurrected Lord??

The wonderful truth is that Jesus went to them to resurrect their lives through relationship with him. Jesus loved them and he loves us enough to heal our loneliness and shame. The father poured life into Jesus and in turn Jesus poured new life into the disciples so that they in turn would pour life into others. The Lord bids us to trust His love and seek Him;

Psa. 34:4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. 5 Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

 

Whenever you do not seek the Lord you will wrong others, you will bite and devour them until your your relationship with them is destroyed. If you keep on you will ultimately destroy each other. A power greater than human power is required to stop the biting and devouring. Only God gives life so abundantly that when you receive life from him you have plenty to give to others.

 

In order to receive the life He offers, we must simply seek Him out and trust that He loves us fully will not live us alone and ashamed. This is a glorious reality that we must simply embrace every day. I pray the resurrecting love of God will heal our loneliness and shame so that we can have fuller lives with Him and show others how to follow him too. As you follow Him your loneliness will be healed more and more and you will bear the fruit of the Spirit to bless others.

 

May the Joy of the Lord fill you this Spring!


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