Dear Friends,

Hurricanes, nuclear missiles and computer hacking.

These three destructive and unpredictable powers have been headlining the news lately. They share the characteristic of being "too big to handle" for any one of us, and none of us can achieve true immunity from their effects. Mostly I just don't think about them, and leave preparations and management to some small group of "professionals" somewhere. And yet in truth, we live with and manage them every day. We and our neighbors get flooded. Missiles are siloed around the US, and in 12 other countries globally. And all our computers are an errant click away from hackers.

Can Christianity live and grow within this kind of reality?

Actually, it has contended with these challenges from the start. Jesus of Nazareth lived out his whole life and ministry in a setting of constant threat under the Roman Empire, characterized by threats of force, and swift use of force, including crucifixion. But live he did. And heal he did. And the community of his love thrived and eventually welcomed each of us.

I'm pleased this week just to sit with this simple fact for a bit; to really marinate my spirit in this experience. Christians have been getting to know their Creator, and their Good Shepherd Jesus, and the Comforter (a.k.a. the Holy Spirit, John 14:26) in every season then and since. Discerning how we grow and live with God today is up to us, and it's big work. But how can we worry with 2000 years of saints serving God alongside us in the mystical and tangible Body of Christ?

"The light has shined in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it," wrote John. It's actually the witness of the saints to the promise of God's loving presence in our own lives that is "too big to handle." Too bigto be contended with by the powers of destruction and unpredictability that are passing by us in this world. Marinate in that. Reach out to the saint you need today, whether living on earth or living eternally with God. This is our tremendous church.

In the Peace of God, Which Passes All Understanding,

Reed