Worship at Gloria Dei will resume July 18 at 5pm & July 19 at 8:15am, 9:45am and 10:30am

Our Refuge and Strength

Dear Gloria Dei,

This Sunday, in our virtual worship together, we will begin by singing the song “Lord I Need You”. I love this song. As we sing it, we are making a confession that we are in need, and that what we need the most is God.

During these times, the challenges are real and they run deep. I’m feeling badly for those who have and who will be affected directly by illness. We lift them up in prayer. I’m also feeling badly for all those who are affected in other ways (and this includes all of us in one way or another).

For example, I’m thinking about the High School Seniors, and all students, who are missing out on important concerts, athletic contests, recitals, classes, youth group gatherings, and friendships as the school year is coming nearer to its close. I’m thinking about those in hospitals and care centers who are not able to be present physically with family members and other loved ones. I’m thinking about business owners and employees who are scrambling to meet financial needs. I’m thinking about the non-profit organizations being inhibited, and the impact all of this has on those they serve. I’m thinking about Moms and Dads who are radically changing schedules and routines to make sure their children are being well taken care of. I’m thinking of brides and grooms whose wedding days are looking a lot different than what they had planned. I’m thinking about those who have lost loved ones, not being able to gather with all of their friends and loved ones for funerals and support. I’m thinking about the underlying feeling of anxiety that maybe all of us feel as we move into these next weeks and months, not knowing exactly when things might get back to at least some semblance of normalcy. And I could go on and on, and so can you.

One of my personal “Go To” psalms is Psalm 46. During times like this I hear the psalmist’s words ringing in my ears, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.” And those words bring me comfort. They bring me hope. They bolster my faith. They strengthen my trust in God.

Psalm 46 reminds us that God is present, very present, giving us strength and refuge. The psalm continues: “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.” Psalm 46 declares that no matter what comes, the Lord is our refuge and strength, a help in times of trouble. Yes indeed!

So, dear friends, as we sing together this Sunday morning the song “Lord I Need You”, pay attention to the lyrics.

“Lord I Come, I Confess, bowing here, I find my rest.
Without You I fall apart, You’re the One that guides my heart.
Lord I need You, oh I need You, Every hour I need you.
My one defense, my righteousness, O God how I need You.”

God is with you. Christ is your defense. Christ is your righteousness. Within the challenges we all are facing, be sure to reach out and show the love of Jesus to all you can. But also, be sure to reach out and hold onto the hand of Jesus, just as he is reaching out and holding on to you.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.”

Pastor Tim

P.S. Holy Week is fast approaching. Palm Sunday is April 5. We will post worship online as usual on that Sunday morning. For Maundy Thursday and Good Friday we will post shorter devotions, so watch for those posts on the Live page, on those days too. And as much as I hate to say it, it’s not looking very likely that we’ll be able to gather physically on Easter. We will, however, share in Easter Celebration together online. Maybe now is the time for all of you to start making your Alleluia Sticks at home. Stay tuned! God’s Blessings to all of you.

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