Pastor's Column - June/July

“‘Master, you are our God, for you delivered your people from the land of Egypt in a show of power—people are still talking about it! We confess that we have sinned, that we have lived bad lives. Following the lines of what you have always done in setting things right, setting people right, please stop being so angry with Jerusalem, your very own city, your holy mountain. We know it’s our fault that this has happened, all because of our sins and our parents’ sins, and now we’re an embarrassment to everyone around us. We’re a blot on the neighborhood. So listen, God, to this determined prayer of your servant. Have mercy on your ruined Sanctuary. Act out of who you are, not out of what we are."  Daniel's prayer for his nation (Daniel 9:15-17 MSG)

The prayer Daniel prayed from his room in Babylon for his own country, Judah, is an inspiration for us to pray for our nation even today.  The young prophet makes confession on behalf of his people, and calls out to God for forgiveness, mercy and restoration.  How easily we might appropriate Daniel's words in our own lives -- for our nation -- for our church -- for ourselves.

The Prophet Daniel is filled with the awe of God.  He has hope that the Creator of the universe hears him, even though he has been removed from everything familiar.  His comfort comes from God and the faith that great troubles can be remedied.

We are coming to the end of the Easter Season in the church.  Now, we will receive more great blessings in the coming of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus' disciples -- and indeed upon the entire newborn church in Jerusalem.  It was the Feast of Pentecost -- fifty days after Passover.  The city was packed out with believers and God-fearers from every province of the empire.  We may ponder again -- and drink deeply of the exquisite timing of that first infilling of the Holy Spirit.  Peter preached a Spirit-inspired sermon to all who were gathered in front of the temple.

Things -- the city -- the people -- the institutions of government, religion and society -- were about to be shaken by the coming of the Holy Spirit to all peoples there in the 1st century.  God has done mighty works ever since.  The kingdom of Jesus Christ is always moving on, spreading wider and wider across the face of the world.  The great moves of God are sometimes like waves of such magnitude that we who are at sea can barely perceive the changes that are occurring all around us.  Our boat rises and falls so gradually that we miss the event.  It is too immense.

Recall the words of King Nebuchadnezzar after his encounter with the God whom Daniel praised, prayed to and served:

 “At the end of the seven years, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked to heaven. I was given my mind back and I blessed the High God, thanking and glorifying God, who lives forever:

“His sovereign rule lasts and lasts,
    his kingdom never declines and falls.
Life on this earth doesn’t add up to much,
    but God’s heavenly army keeps everything going.
No one can interrupt his work,

    no one can call his rule into question."  (Daniel 4:34-35 MSG)

Whatever you are facing as we turn toward summer and a season of more leisure and time off, lay hold of the stories of the Bible to nourish your soul and your spirit!  Keep the faith!

Blessings,

Margot

Welcome to Cornelius United Methodist Church.

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9:30 AM for worship

1095 S. Beech St.

Cornelius, OR 97113