Another school shooting a couple of weeks ago, this time in Oxford, Michigan. Hoax threats made at hundreds of schools across the nation last week. Devastating tornadoes sweep across multiple states this past December weekend destroying and uprooting lives.
These are reminders that while the celebration of the Advent and Christmas seasons persist, life on earth with its many sorrows in a season of joy does not stop. People lose loved ones. Continued grief from loved ones long passed bubbles to the surface. Homeless people remain homeless. People are laid off. Covid-19 continues to impact lives.
In these times, we are thankful for God’s grace as God walks with us in our suffering. This grace gives us the grace to embrace those who hurt. Those who are harmed. Those who are suffering. And everyone knows suffering to some degree so we can stand together in solidarity. We can provide a listening ear. We can help with both the tangible and felt needs of our loved ones and neighbors. We can advocate for justice to replace oppression alongside those who suffer injustice. We can be the hands and feet of God as the Holy Spirit empowers us and fills us so that we may share this love and grace with those in pain, so they might have assurance that God is with them even in their darkest of times.
Evil may persist. But God is good. All the time.
Grace and peace,
Rev. J.D. Allen