Thanks so much to family and friends who emailed to ask me if I would post my little sermon from this morning. Normally I would do that, but this time it was tailored to address a particular problem our parish is experiencing at the moment. It wouldn't be fair to post the sermon with so many things in it that are pertinent only to our congregation, sort of a breach of trust.
Just an overview then: the Old Testament reading was the last chapter of Deuteronomy, (chapter 34) where Moses finally dies and Joshua takes up the leadership of the Israelites to actually bring them into the land of Promise.
The reminder for our congregation from this passage is that God will not withdraw his hand and leave us casting about for solutions to our present problem with no hope of a good outcome. The call was to gather together more as a Christian community and pray together for help from the Lord, to entrust our leadership team with the mandate we gave them to seek God along with us and lead where he seems to want us to follow. Yes, even if it means that some things have to change in the near future.
I was delighted that the response today in the Prayers of the People was, "Lord, lead us out of despair and into hope!" I hadn't had a chance to look at that particular group of prayers prior to the service so was delighted to have that response happening right after the sermon time.
All but one parishioner stayed for coffee and cookies after the service and we had a grand talk together, all at one table instead of our usual scattering of groups of 2 or 3 all at different tables. We actually talked about our church situation and how we need to be less worried and more trusting in God. I am so proud of these people as they face difficulties and are feeling more certain than they were even a week ago that a godly solution can be found.