The Pastor’s Piece – June 5, 2022
The Pastor’s Piece
June 5, 2022
“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.’”
I’m getting tired of crying all the time.
It’s been another roller coaster week emotionally. My family is enduring much sorrow at this moment in the loss of my nephew’s 3 year old son due to a drowning accident on Memorial Day. That, and the loss last month of a 10 year old boy from our congregation in an accident and we are weary with grief and sadness (not to mention the national tragedy in Texas). I realize I’m just the pastor and, in this case, uncle, because the real sorrow is carried by the parents, siblings, grandparents and other immediate family members. But my wife and I found comfort this week in the people of our church. Their prayers and expressions of kindness have been priceless. Their soothing words and Scripture verses, their offers of hospitality – (even one of our cyber members offered to open their home to us in Peoria, Illinois where the accident occurred) – our people’s expressions of grief, of love, and kindness, an unexpected hug from a young man I didn’t even know was keeping track – it is overwhelming and therapeutic and very welcome. Through the tears and sadness we cling to the hope we have in Jesus. He has defeated death, and sorrow, and pain, and sadness. He will wipe every tear from our eyes when we arrive in His glorious kingdom.
I woke up this morning with the words of the old hymn: “My Anchor Holds” running through my mind. I can’t even tell you when was the last time I heard that song – probably as a little child sitting in church – it’s not in our hymnal, but there it was, stowed away in the cobwebs of my brain, brought to remembrance I’m suspecting by the Holy Spirit Himself. God is good. Here are two of the verses and the chorus:
Though the angry surges roll; On my tempest-driven soul; I am peaceful, for I know; Wildly though the winds may blow; I’ve an anchor safe and sure; That can evermore endure.
Refrain: And it holds, my anchor holds:
Blow your wildest, then, O gale, on my bark so small and frail; By His grace I shall not fail, for my anchor holds, my anchor holds.
Troubles overwhelm my soul; Griefs like billows o’er me roll; Tempters seek to lure astray; Storms obscure the light of day; But in Christ I can be bold; I’ve an anchor that shall hold.
My anchor holds, my anchor holds.
We’re praising God for the anchor of our souls – Jesus Christ. Nothing can separate us from His love.
The Bible tells us that God remembers our tears and sends His angels to minister to us. Jesus is our ever-present help in our time of need.
Some will want to blame God for this. But all I can say is that God is not the one who is trying to destroy us. It is the devil who wants us to suffer and grieve and die. Jesus said “the devil comes to steal and kill and destroy. But I have come that you might have life,” (John 10:10). Jesus has defeated death.
As impossible as it seems now, there is hope in the death of a loved one because no one stays dead: “Death cannot hold its prey,” Peter said in Acts 2:24.
The story of humanity goes something like this… God created the world. It’s His world, but He decided to leave it to us. Starting with Adam and Eve, He trusted them with His world, but provided some rules: don’t sin, and love each other. And then everything went wrong.
Satan came into the picture and deceived our first parents. Then that sin was passed down to all of us, (Romans 5:12), and now everyone sins, (Romans 3:23), and all of our sins have messed up what started out as God’s perfect world.
The Bible says that God’s whole creation is being held in bondage by Satan – “It groans and suffers” – waiting for Jesus to set it and us free, (Romans 8:20-23).
So what does God do? God comes to us. The “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, the Prince of Peace” has come to us, (Isaiah 9:6). The Bible says that Jesus will right every wrong. There will be a day, an hour, a season in which everything that is wrong will be made right.
In the meantime we trust, because the promise of God is that He will turn this tragedy into victory because Jesus has defeated death and risen from the grave and because He lives – we too shall live!
(Kevin Cernek is Lead Pastor of Martintown Community Church in Martintown, Wisconsin)