I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
I did not grow up in a tradition that memorized scripture. In fact, I didn’t begin reading the Bible seriously until I got to seminary. And much as it is filled with passages I love, I used to regularly have trouble finding the right one for the right occasion. With the internet, that problem has all but gone away. Just a moment ago, I typed “encouraging scriptures” into Google, and was immediately rewarded with the beautiful passage above. The Philippians had expressed concern for Paul’s welfare. He responded with gratitude for their concern, but also with an affirmation that, in God’s Spirit, he had more than enough.
In God’s Spirit, we too have more than enough; more than enough to celebrate in times of joy and plenty, more than enough to lift us up in times of crisis, more than enough to share with one another when there is a need. The love and grace that are the hallmarks of any true Christian faith, do not come from us. They come through us. Which means we are in no danger of running out. Even when we feel depleted, God’s Spirit is inexhaustible. We have but to draw strength from that well which never runs dry. We have but to remind one another that the light of grace shines on, no matter how dark it may get. We can do all things through God who strengthens us.
Some quick updates:
• Sunday’s live stream hymns and service were a great success. With something over 500 views, that would be the biggest congregation I’ve ever had. Someone pointed out that not all of the “views” represent actual people. On the other hand, I’m sure there are some that check out even when I’m standing right in front of them. But we still count them.
• Next Sunday will be much the same format: Hymn Sing at 10, followed by my service. I hope you’ll watch for us on Facebook and spread the word. I’m planning to publish some sort of bulletin ahead of time to make it easier to follow along. More on that later.
• The Vimeo post for our Webpage is still in the works. I’ll let everyone know when it’s up.
• Our New Hampshire Conference Camp, Horton Center, is also publishing a “Virtual Camp Schedule,” on their Facebook page, including Morning Watch and other activities.
• And, there is a Holy Week theological round table being prepared by Gordon Rankin and clergy from our conference. More on that later as well
As we go forward with our social distancing, the strains and stresses of daily life will likely become more pronounced. My advice: stay connected to and centered in your faith. We can, indeed, do all things through God who strengthens us.
Yours in Grace,