Good Monday morning. How can it be Monday again already and the end of June? Last night I drove into the city in the pouring rain and then listened to the thunder rumble throughout the night. It is wonderful to be with Sara and Bea for a couple of days.

Our parking lot worship services were great once again. We sure have been having nice weather for them. It is so nice to see everyone. For those of you not able to come to church, we still have our recorded services on FaceBook. It is nice to see you tuning in to those as well as it does take quite a bit of effort. Thanks to Shawna and her daughter, Kylie for all of their editing work.

Peter goes back to his theme of suffering for Christ.

1 Peter 4:12-19 (NRSV)

Suffering as a Christian

12 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the spirit of glory, which is the Spirit of God, is resting on you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, a criminal, or even as a mischief maker. 16 Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name. 17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with the household of God; if it begins with us, what will be the end for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And

“If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,

what will become of the ungodly and the sinners?”

19 Therefore, let those suffering in accordance with God’s will entrust themselves to a faithful Creator, while continuing to do good.

I know many of you are suffering and I can’t imagine that our loving God has designed some devious plan to test you. I rather believe that the God who counts the hairs on your head, who loves you enough to die for your sins, will accompany you through your darkest hours. And when your sighs are too deep for words, God will be there to hold you, dry your tears and assure you that as God’s child, you are safe.

That doesn’t mean your suffering will end. This world, and our time in it is finite. Eternal life will be free of suffering. We can look forward to that while we suffer together in this time and place. I am holding you in my prayers. I pray that you will draw your strength from God and not from the world.

Blessings on your day,

Pastor Sue