WAR!

Russia has invaded the Ukraine and many of us are experiencing feelings that we may not have experienced for a long time. If you are of military age, or have children or grandchildren serving in the military or of military age, it comes even closer to home. If you have family, friends, or heritage in the Ukraine, you feel it more acutely. And it is frightening. It is painful to read about and see the images and imagine what the Ukrainians are going through. What is it like to leave your home with only what you can carry and to leave husbands, sons, fathers, and brothers at home to fight? Over a million people displaced in very few days. And all of this is for what? Speculation is rampant all over the internet about what Russia is seeking. What is it all about? A huge war, a country invaded, and we don’t even have a clear idea as to why? Oh, Lord save us from ourselves. It is a scary time.

In times like this, we Christians lament. We cry out to God about the brokenness of the whole human race. We cry out for the victims, the innocent, the soldiers that may not even know why they are fighting. The Psalms are good place to go for lament. We pray for peace.

Nadia Bolz Weber wrote a great blog post about fear and faith. It is excellent. I recommend you check it out here. “Freaking the Hell Out!”

How are you finding peace in these scary days?

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I recently heard an encouraging quote from St. John of the Cross.

“In the evening of life we will be judged on love alone.” 

I think that is great. I am not sure what it is saying about the rest of life, but since I am definitely getting to the evening of life, or at least tea time (or cocktail hour), I find this hopeful. I pray that when God looks at me, God sees His love reflected.

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Finally, many of you know my love for the Aaronic blessing found in Numbers 6:24. I was recently reading the notes in one of my study Bibles about this passage and found them enlightening. Here is what I read.

“Like the use of the sun as a metaphor, the metaphor of light is used to refer to God’s face as it shines broadly with warmth, brightness, and life-giving energy upon the nations and all of creation. The shining of the divine face leads to God’s gracious activity, dealing with people not according to their sins but with love and compassion. The lifting up of the divine face, or countenance, implies the active and direct acceptance and blessing of a specific person or community in a gesture of reconciliation, even when it is underserved.” New International Study Bible

And so….

May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord lift up His countenance to you and give you peace, now and forever.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 

God bless,
Coe