Do you ever get the feeling that we have been dropped into the middle of the filming of a movie? You know, one of those movies where the future of the planet is constantly hanging in the balance. The characters are running around trying to figure out what to do next to keep the situation from getting worse, racing against time to solve whatever evil is threatening our future existence. Then, just in the nick of time, someone comes up with a solution that saves what is left of the planet.
Unfortunately, this is not a movie. Our story line is all too real. There is an unseen bug, that threatens the lives of some people that we love deeply, and there is no script to follow to ensure that everything turns out well in the end. Our leaders seem to be doing their best, but they don’t seem to have the solutions either. On top of that, we are unable to gather with our church family to find comfort and support. It is at times like this that fear finds an opening in our lives. Because the future is unknown, it invites us to imagine that our worst nightmares are going to come true and we feel powerless to stop it. We find ourselves wishing that this is a script and we want someone to let us have a peek at the last page.
I’ve got good news for you. While what we are living through is all too real, there is a script, fluid though it may be, and we have been told how things will turn out. That peek at the last page was given to us by the Apostle Paul. Those of you that joined us via Facebook Live heard these words on March 22:
“We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified.
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else? Who will bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? It is Christ Jesus, who died, yes, who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all day long;
we are accounted as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
(Romans 8:28–39 NRSV)
So in those moments when you feel fear is trying to slip into your life, take a moment and read the last page of the script and know that there is absolutely nothing that can separate you from the Love God has for you, and that God is working to take even this and turn it into something good.
Pastor Steve Ranney