Panic or Blessing?
Dear Grace Church Family and Friends,
This Sunday is Christ the King Sunday. That means that our worship this Sunday will be emphasizing the Kingship of Jesus: his rule, or reign of love over the world and in our lives. But I bring this up for a different reason. You see, Christ the King Sunday is the last Sunday of what we call Ordinary Time. In other words, our time is about to become extraordinary. The Holidays are here! Next week is Thanksgiving Day, and the following Sunday starts Advent. Then, before were really set, comes Christmas. If a sense of panic is beginning to set in, then read on.
Psalm 46: Dealing with Panic. It’s definitely time to panic! Just look at what’s about to happen: Thanksgiving Day! Advent! Christmas! Family is already calling about when they’ll be dropping in! Because of the Pandemic, it’s been two years since we’ve done this. We’re out of practice. Yes, this could be a good time to panic.
On the other hand, this could also be just the right time to start receiving blessings. After all, all these special events, and the change in the seasons promise good times of celebration and joy just ahead for us. Sure, there’s all the preparation to do so as to arrive at these important moments ready to enjoy them. Yet, the point is that we enjoy them! That joy can get lost if we are panicked over just getting there.
Psalm 46 can help us here. It opens and moves amidst tumult and furry. Nations rage and the earth shakes. Yet the call is to become still and remember that this is God’s world, and that we are not to panic. Verse 10 is my favorite, “Be still, and know that I am God!” In other words, calm down and remember that God is with us in every moment and event of life. God is “Our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (or panic!).”
Now is really a time for blessing. Given that Thanksgiving is the big theme of the week ahead, as well as the Season to come, let this point us to how we can “Become still, and know God.” Do you remember the words of that old Gospel tune, Count Your Blessings?
“If upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed…thinking all is lost….count your blessings, name them one by one…and it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”
Start today, before panic really sets in, and count your blessings. And consider how you will bless others by sharing some of those blessings. This is the best preparation for this time. If you will find time each day to count at least one blessing, (some are worth counting several times), and consider how to share it with others, you will gain a stillness within that will stifle the panic, and let you traverse this Season ahead in Joy and Gratitude.