January 20, 2022

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This months Website is 

sponsored by

John & Nancy Haefner 

in Memory of 

Dwane Kasch & Elsie Kasch Myers

Live Streaming is sponsored by

 Bob & ChannaRae Coulter Family

If you would like to sponsor a month

contact the office.

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Members Login

Soup & Pie Fundraiser

Please join our Youth Group on Valentine's day and enjoy a bowl of soup & a piece of pie along with fellowship!

Last week's Sermon

Psalm 62 & John 2:1-11

January 16, 2022

“Keeping hope alive”

Every town,

Has its ups and downs

Sometimes ups

Outnumber the downs

But not in Nottingham

That comes from a scene from the animated movie Robin Hood. The setting of the scene is dark and gloomy with a steady rain outside. The minstrel is locked in jail with many of Robin Hood’s friends. The scene then moves to the old church where Friar Tuck is ringing the church bell and the Sexton is playing a melancholy tune on the organ. The Sexton sighs, “I don’t think anyone is coming.”

Friar Tuck responds, “You’re right Sexton, but maybe the sound of this church bell will bring those poor people some comfort. We must do what we can to keep their hopes alive.” He concludes with, “Look, our poor box is like our church—empty.”

It is the low point of the movie. It doesn’t look like things could get much worse and there is even a question of whether things will get any better.

You do not need to read too far into Psalm 62 to get the feeling that the psalmist is at a low point in his life. One also gets the feeling that this low point has been going on for a while and looks to continue for some time to come. “How long will you assail a person; will you batter your victim?   How long will this continue?”

The psalmist compares his experience to that of an old wooden fence or a leaning wall being beaten by the wind. As you drive through the country side, you have probably seen those old wooden high board fences used for wind breaks or those old wooden barns still standing in the old farmstead. They are still standing, but time has weakened them. They are weathered and leaning from a combination of exposure to the elements and being beaten by the wind. It makes one wonder how long they will continue to stand. Which force of nature will be the next one to bring it down?

As a reader, one can also get the sense that this is not the first time that the psalmist has had to face difficulties and challenges in his life. The psalmist opens the Psalm with stating confidence in God. “For God alone, my soul waits in silence.” Or another translation, “For God alone, my soul rests.” “God is my rock, my salvation. I will never be shaken.”

These sound like the words of someone who has been there before. These are words of a person who has faced the challenges …experienced the downs in life and has come through them. He might be in the midst of challenges in his life again, but he knows he can make it through them. Why does he know? Because he has been here before and gotten through them. He knows he will do so again. How will he get through them? Through his trust in God. His trust in God does not come after the crisis is over. The psalmist places his trust in God in the midst of the crisis.

In my former life of farming and ranching, there were many ups and downs. There were times that it seemed like the downs outnumbered the ups. There were days that I wondered… And yet, I can remember thinking after things turned back up and got better, “O you man of little faith.” This psalmist places his faith in God in the midst of the down period, not when it is over and past. Trust in God is the only way that the psalmist experiences rest within his soul. The psalmist encourages his readers to do the same …trust God and pray. It is in God that the psalmist places his hopes in this time of his crisis.

As we begin our third year of the Covid virus pandemic, it is easy to feel like we have been here before. We feel wind whipped and battered, not only by the virus, but also because of all of the anger that surrounds it and the challenges it brings in its wake. Like the psalmist we wonder, how long will we have to endure this beating.

In these down times …in these times of crisis …in these times when extra challenges arise, God alone is our strength, our rock and our salvation. It is only in God that we will experience the peace …the rest that our souls are longing for. We must not lose faith in God, but instead learn to trust God even more. God is our hope in times of crisis and for all times. In God we must trust.

It is not hard to see that the pandemic has affected the number of people sitting in our pews which were already on the decline due to deaths and fewer and fewer people claiming a need for the church. It is not just our church. It is not just our denomination. It is throughout the country. It is easy to wonder if the church is in crisis. It can make one wonder if the church has out lived its usefulness. It can make one wonder, “What is the point of Church?” “I don’t think anyone is coming.”

“You’re right Sexton, but maybe the sound of this church bell will bring the people some comfort. We must do what we can to keep their hopes alive.”

Many people might not think they need the Church. Sadly, what they do not realize is that what they are really missing during this time of pandemic crisis is the hope that God offers them and the world. The Church is called to be a sign of that hope. Jesus says that where as few as two or three are gathered in my name, God is present. The Church, no matter how big or how small is a sign of God’s presence in the world. As long as there is God’s presence in our world, there is hope. Where there is hope in God, there is peace for the soul.

We are called to share that hope. We are called to live that hope. We live that hope through trusting God through the ups and the downs. We share that hope when others see and experience the faith in God that we live out in our lives. Amen.