In a time of great sadness and despair, Bishop Ward reminds us of Psalm 84 and that we are held in God’s comforting strong arms.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
“How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of hosts. Even a sparrow finds a home, the swallow a place to lay her young. They go from strength to strength.” I find a beautiful symmetry in the appointing of Psalm 84 this next Sunday. Nine years ago, as we began ministry together in this season, it was Psalm 84 that moved us to embrace the image of strength, God’s strength in us, the strength of our shared ministry, and we prayed often that we would be moved from strength to greater strength in service with Christ in the world.
In these times, our hearts are heavy as we see the fall of Kabul. We pray for all in our state for whom Afghanistan is not a faraway place on a map. It’s a very real place to which our family is connected through military service.
We pray for our friends in Haiti*. We are bound closely to the nation of Haiti having lost Sam Dixon, our beloved friend, in the earthquake of 2010.
And we continue to pray for all who are ill with COVID, for all who are in danger, and for our leaders and medical community. I hope you will stay alert to the Conference website as we post very soon, new guidance.
In all of our life, as we return to familiar scripture passages, they speak to us in the current moment. I find Psalm 84 speaking to us this week, this day, as we pray for these and other needs in our world. God is longing to gather the whole world into God’s comforting, strong arms. Even a sparrow finds a home, the swallow a place to lay her young. May it be so and may it be so through the faithful ministry of The United Methodist Church in every place.
*Give today for Haiti Earthquake Response