November 9th, 2016
As I sit in Seattle tonight I can hear the sirens down below, as protesters make their way through the streets. I can hear the chants, and as Jose and I walked down the street heading to dinner you could almost feel the tension in the air. Tonight, it does not matter which side of the isle you sit, or how you voted, the angst of our future as a nation is a real feeling shared by many. As a recovering Evangelical, one of the things I try not to do is use scripture out of context, but the verse that continues to come to mind tonight is from Jeremiah, “I have a plan for you says the Lord, a plan for your good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” The definition I often use when it comes to faith is that God is always working for our good. This definition guides me, it is what helps me in moments of fear or anxiousness. And so as your new pastor the message I have for you is this, despite elections, despite who our president is or what the out come is God is still, has been, and always will be working for our good. The Apostle Paul reminded us in Romans chapter 8 that there is nothing that can separate us from he love of God, and for that we can be thankful.
As I reflect on the protesters tonight, and the angry people that we have seen all over the TV for the past year and a half, there is one thing that binds them and all of us, that is the fear of the unknown. Beloved people of God, we must walk in the confidence of knowing that God will not forsake us, and that we are called to be repairers of the breach, as it says in Isaiah, as the divide in our country continues, we are called to seek unity. We are called to continue to preach love, mercy, grace, and peace at a time when anger can so easily spill into violence both physically and verbally (just read your Facebook walls to find such violence). God isn’t done with us, and that is where our hope resides.
Lastly, never forget that we as people of God have a responsibility to our neighbors. As God continues to work for our good so indeed we are left with the same responsibility for others. As our Gospel lesson from last Sunday reminded us, Jesus cares about the least, the last, the lost, and the lonely. And I think that at some level many people in our country and world identify that way, unheard, uncared for, invalidated, and unloved. I hope that as a congregation we can be a voice of love and justice, and that we might seek the good for our neighbors.
I am excited to work along side of you, and I can’t wait to start on Monday. I look forward to getting to know each of you.
Pastor Casey Tinnin