How is your house coming? Are you back in yet? Where are you in your flood recovery? Are you still waiting for an electrician? Or the sheetrockers? Are you settled again after evacuating? How is the proposed flood protection plan going to affect you? So many questions about flood recovery and how everyone is doing! Even if you aren't personally affected, you can't be in Minot and escape the devastation of the flood. It seems that since May everything has been about the flood! And everyone is tired. People have been consumed with hard work; with financial, emotional and physical stress.
For many in Minot, every spare moment has been spent working on or worrying about something related to flood recovery and future prevention.
In this time when the flood has consumed so much of our time and energy, it is easy to neglect our spiritual life. There is so much work to do, it seems like there is no time to set aside for worship or Bible study or prayer or the church activities that help us to grow in our faith and discipleship. And while that may very well be the reality of the situation, it is still so crucial for who we are that we do not neglect our relationship with the God to whom we belong-the God who preserves and blesses our life even in the midst of the devastation our community has experienced.
Rev. Kari Pancoast
God created us to be his own, to live together with him. Without God present in our life, we are empty; we are missing a crucial part of what makes us who and what we are. Blaise Pascal, a 17th century French mathematician, philosopher and theologian wrote: There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ. It is God's desire to bless our life with the joy and peace and love that only come from living together with him. Without God in our lives we are merely an empty shell-not unlike the empty shells of the flooded homes in Minot.
Our gracious God made you for a life full to overflowing with the joy and peace that only come from him. It is not God's desire or pleasure that we remain empty. He longs to be with us; to fill us with the love he has for us in Jesus. As we as a community continue on in our flood recovery and are so consumed with the many, many related needs, do not neglect your need to be where Jesus comes to you. Do not let yourself become an empty shell, but rather be a home where Jesus dwells!
Make time with God a part of your daily routine. Be filled with God's love for you in Jesus so you may live in the joy and peace that God desires for you!
Reflections, a mini-sermon written by Minot and area clergy, will appear each Saturday in The Minot Daily News. Clergy interested in writing a mini-sermon should contact Religion Editor Loretta Johnson at 857-1952 or Debbie Sandvold at 857-1950. The toll-free number is 1-800-735-3229.
Rev. Kari Pancoast is a pastor at First Lutheran Church in Minot.