Lady Pastor: Shared verses offer encouragement and hope
Today, we begin week two of our Lenten Bible Adventure. Last week, I shared that throughout the season of Lent, the column will focus on beloved Bible passages. I invited you to contact me with Scripture verses that are meaningful to you. The invitation still stands, so please email me soon (firstname.lastname@example.org) or send a note here to the Post-Bulletin.
Over the past week, it has been a joy to receive your favorite Scripture verses. Those that have been submitted so far reveal what I already knew to be true. You are wonderful people with thoughtful, compassionate hearts. Some of the verses you selected focus on themes of encouragement and hope. Some of the verses celebrate the mysteries of God. And still other Bible passages are instructions from Jesus. In the weeks ahead, we will explore all these themes.
This week's verses come from Libby and Bruce. They both shared readings that remind us that God cares deeply and has a purpose and a plan for all our lives. Libby shared Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Bruce wrote in with Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Both verses are powerful promises.
There are times when life can be so messy and complex. There are seasons when the ground under our feet seems so shaky and uncertain. In those moments, we long to know that God is present and active. Today's Bible verses are reminders that the Eternal Comforter seeks to bring good out of even the worst of times and experiences.
I don't believe God causes horrific things to happen. But I do believe that in all circumstances, God is at work within whatever we are facing. The Holy Spirit is constantly seeking ways to bring renewed hope, healing and possibility.
I was recently at a senior housing complex where I was visiting some friends. There was a puzzle on a nearby table that had recently been put together. It was completed but missing a few pieces. They had been lost. But the people living there had put the puzzle together anyway.
It reminded me of the God's ongoing activity in our lives. God never stops. God never gives up. Instead, God works with the broken, discarded, jumbled pieces of our lives and provides us with hope, a future and infinite grace. Again and again, our Creator weaves together all the various scraps of fabric that compose our lives and creates something beautiful.
The Prince of Peace cares for all of creation so much more than we can even imagine. May that truth sustain you throughout the week ahead.