It is a sunny early evening as I type this. Spring seems to be truly here. People are out relaxing, boats are out once again on the canals.
Living somewhere like we do in the Leiden area, gives much to be grateful for. I am also very thankful for family, friends and the church community I am part of.
Yet in writing these few lines , I am also mindful of tougher realities. In the news in recent days was the attack in central London but also the fighting in western Mosul where an estimated 150 non combatant people were killed by a bombing raid. Meanwhile the threat to twenty million people facing famine and starvation in Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia and parts of Kenya continues.
Much closer to home for us as a church community, we have the sadness of families grieving the loss of loved ones in the past week.
Today in our service, Cor spoke from Psalm 77 – the words of this song are well worth checking out. Especially for times when tough things happen and it seems like God is absent or does not care. I encourage us all to read them.
Also I encourage us all…
- to pray – both for those we know who are grieving or walking through other challenging circumstances. Pray about what we see in the news.
- to reach out to others. You may not know always what to say but you can listen, express love, offer practical care.
- to look to the Lord – “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble” Psalm 46:1
This is the God who did not remain distant from humanity but became human himself. This is the one who faced misunderstanding, rejection, public slurring and misrepresentation. This is the one who laid his life down and in his death took on the wrongdoing of humanity. This is the one who has gone through death and come out on the other side. This is the one who understands!
The message of Easter declares loud and clear the love and care of God for us all even amid our pain and questions. He is an ever present help!