Shepastor: “All is Not Lost…”
13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. I Thessalonians 4:13, KJV
Grief over the loss of loved ones during the holiday season is not uncommon. While some are celebrating, others are mourning. Loss of life, however, manifests in many ways. At times it feels like a dark grey cloud is hanging over us, almost cutting off our ability to breathe. This passage of scripture reminds us that we are not to be as those who have no hope… We must remember, all is not lost.
Today as I sat waiting to be called into the doctor's office for a regular checkup, I beheld a wonderful sight. An elderly couple walked up to the receptionist desk with a bag full of gifts, a box of cookies, and a large box of cupcakes. Immediately I exclaimed “How beautiful!”
A flood of memories washed over my mind. A bit of nostalgia overtook me. I was reminded of a lovelier time, a time when people were so appreciative of the hard work and dedication of others…a time of reverence, sensitivity, and gratefulness…a time when people, in large and small ways were internally compelled to externally spread thanksgiving and joy.
As I looked at that elderly couple, I thought out loud, “How wonderful that you would bring gifts and treats to the doctor's office today!” The wife, without hesitation said, “They all work so hard. We just wanted them to know how much we appreciate them.” It was obvious that they were from a different time…
This has been a difficult season. Three years of isolation, sickness, death, and massive changes due to a world pandemic. Depression, frustration, fear, anger, and despondency have invaded the lives of many. This past week, several mass shootings have occurred. Senseless, brutal, and infuriating acts of cowardice seem to abound. Our political systems are broken. Systems of oppression, racism, and otherisms appear to be dominating our land. Yet, in the midst of it all, we are called upon to not be as those who have no hope.
We have within us the power to shine light in the midst of darkness. We have within us the authority to take back the territory that the enemy of our souls has sought to affix himself within. Like that elderly couple that made a decision to bring some joy, love, and kindness into a space that so often is viewed as obligatory, we too can embody a message of hope, a symbol of love, and a spirit of gratitude to our spheres of influence.
While cupcakes and cookies cannot wash away the pain and suffering inflicted by death, or by wicked and evil beings, our labor of love and our determination to show up with beauty can break through the fog. We can offer the oil of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
As we prepare in America to celebrate the day of Thanksgiving, may our gratitude be coupled with a determination to give love, which according to God’s holy Word is the more excellent way.
May the Lord bless you and keep you, may he make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you, may he lift up the light of his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
Remember, all is not lost. Through Christ we are more than conquerors!
To you and yours, happy Thanksgiving.
In Faith, Hope, and Perseverance,