Pastor Scott Hannon
St. John Lutheran Church Amherst, NY
Our journey through this life is a trek down a blessed and broken road. Our days are filled with joy and sorrow, hope and despair, triumph and tragedy, life and death. No one is exempt from the darker aspects of life. And no one is cut off from the light. Life is good, even when it’s messy. And life can be difficult, even when things are going our way.
At times we may be tempted to chart out for ourselves a perfect life. Sometimes we choose to take the path of least resistance. We begin most days with the best of intentions and the highest of hopes. But, Lord knows, things don’t always work out.
Disasters happen. Violence happens. Illness happens. Crashes happen. Relationships end. Cancer strikes. Jobs are lost. Addiction and alcoholism tear families and communities apart. Nonsensical shootings occur. Storms rage. Death happens.
All these things happen. They just do. But do not lose heart.
The truly good news that is proclaimed to us in scripture is not that life is totally perfect for those who believe, but rather that life is blessed even in the midst of brokenness.
Even on our toughest days, grace happens. Peace happens. Healing happens. Restoration happens. Relationships find new life. Hope nudges despair. Joy vanquishes sorrow. Friends help. Family members support. Storms are silenced. And even when death happens, God still promises life
I’ve been awake for five hours so far today. I’ve seen news coverage or a tragic school shooting, learned of a train crash in my brother’s county, prayed with a friend who found out their cancer had returned, ministered to a co-worker who’s in legal jeopardy, visited a very sick man in the hospital, and wept as I hugged my wife before she took off for a trip to Europe. The brokenness of this life is on full display on days like this.
But so too is grace, love, peace, and hope.
When Jesus was baptized by John in the Jordan the Bible says the Spirit drove him into the wilderness where he was tempted for 40 days. Friends, we who journey through this life find ourselves in that same wilderness – driven by the Spirit into a broken creation where temptation abounds and hunger is real.
But keep this in mind: the Spirit that drove Jesus into the wilderness remained with him. Moreover, the Bible says that while Jesus was in the wilderness angels waited him on.
God’s Spirit is with you now. God’s angels are waiting and watching over you. You are not alone. As broken as things may seem, they’re also blessed. As broken as you may feel, you are also blessed.
Be a blessing. Point to life. Lean into joy. Keep the faith.
Your fellow broken and blessed traveler,
For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Scott and Pastor Shawn’s past columns, please visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.