Rev. Caroline Noll, Associate Pastor, Director of Children’s and Family Ministries
I was all ready to sit down and write this reflection, and then Patrick came in and asked if I had seen the news today.
I was going to sit down and invite us to reflect on what bring us joy.
And then we learned of war across the globe in Ukraine.
And it didn’t seem right to ignore it. I could not with peace turn away.
I wondered if there was a prayer, a poem, or a hymn that would be appropriate instead.
As I thought throughout the day, my spirit did not want to let go of thoughts of joy, even though there is great trouble in our world.
Then I realized, there is a prayer, song, and a poem. I heard it at the Pure Joy! Youth Choir Dessert Show last Sunday.
After intermission, Pure Joy! presented an artistic expression of the story of the people of God through their exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, through the generations, and their eventual return.
The story included songs of peace, wandering, grief, storms, joy, and the steadfastness of God.
It spoke of home, war, separation, identity, return, and love.
The story of the people of God as they were driven into exile by the Babylonians and their eventual return, in part, to Jerusalem with the prophets covers the breadth and depth of human experience and emotions.
The people of God experienced great loss and new comfort, destruction and rebuilding, separation and homebuilding.
And in it all, God was there. In it all, God is here.
So today we lift our prayers of both, of grief and of joy, of despair and of hope, of darkness and of light.
Lord in your goodness, Lord in your mercy, hear our prayer.