A Lord's Day perspective on things

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I was back in my pulpit yesterday after a relatively short Summer break. Our Summer was not the one we had planned. Our eldest son was due to get married on July 25th, and three days before the event it was all called off. The emotional, financial and legal implications of the decision we are still grappling with, but in God's goodness we were still able to celebrate our daughter's 21st birthday with her that same week, and enjoy some time away. 

I was, however, strangely nervous about conducting yesterday's services. I suspect that my nervousness was a result of self-pity more than anything else. But as I got through the services yesterday, I was profoundly challenged by three things. 

First, by the love of the congregation. Their empathy and understanding of our particular circumstance was palpable, even though few people addressed the issues of our Summer directly. They didn't need to. 

Second, by the realisation that there is a scale of issues, in which ours, though traumatic, was not what it might have been. In front of me were at least three people who have buried their own children, several who are grappling with various forms of cancer, and many who have come through other personal crises that put ours in the shade. 

Third, by the words of our opening psalm - 'the Lord is gracious and full of compassion' (Psalm 111:4). I have read and sought to expound these sentiments to others many times. But yesterday I was glad to be in the house of the Lord, and to be reminded that no matter what our crisis, our God is near to us in grace and fellow-feeling. As near, in fact, as the Word he speaks. 

Posted August 13, 2012 @ 5:16 AM by Iain D Campbell
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