Rev. Bill Schnackenberg, Centralia United Methodist Church
I don’t know about you, but the world sure looks different to me this year. I haven’t seen so many wildfires or hurricanes or record temperatures or flooding all at once, ever. It seems our seasons are changing and the natural events surrounding them are increasing in severity.
And the violence in our streets and homes, all started by the brothers Cain and Abel so long ago, seems to be escalating. People are frustrated and even angry around the issue of whether to wear masks during a pandemic. People are angry over the increases in violence and many are afraid. What’s this world coming to?
From all appearances we and our world are falling apart. We see evidence of grief, normal grief, over losing jobs and even losing family members and friends to COVID-19, or to fires, or to hurricanes and floods. And we see fear and panic and global frustration with each other.
All these things seem so horrific because we can’t control them like we want to. We have not found a way to control nature, even though we know what we need to do to help it out. We have not been able to control the pandemic, even though we know what helps to stop its spread. We have not found a way to control human behavior, although we know how to be people who practice the love of God which brings people together.
We’re frustrated. We’re afraid. What is happening to our world? What can we do about all this stuff?
If we start first by acknowledging all the things we are grieving about – actually name them one by one, the pressures will lessen. Whether it’s travel limitations, or going to restaurants and movies, or changes in employment, or loss of a family member. The list goes on. But when we take the time to name it, we have taken back some of the power it had taken from our lives. And then we can focus on something or someone more important than ourselves – God in Christ Jesus.
For the complete column, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.