God Intends It For good

God Intends It For good

Dear Friends,

“Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good.” (Joseph, Genesis 50.15ff)

It was a bold statement on Joseph’s behalf. After decades of mistreatment at the hands of his brothers, all the while overseeing the explosive growth of Egypt’s economy, Joseph was able to take a God’s-eye view of his life. But it was only in retrospect, after years of anger and fear and confusion, that Joseph saw God at work. Even in this.

“Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good.”

Today we mark the nineteenth anniversary of the unspeakable tragedy of terrorist attacks on American soil. We all remember where we were when the first airplane struck the World Trade Center. Some of us know those who died. Some of us can tell stories of having only narrowly missed being there that day. To use an overused adjective, the events of September 11, 2001 were “unprecedented” in our history. Is nineteen years long enough for us to see God’s good intentions at work. Even in this?

“Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good.”

How many years will go by before we are able to see God’s good intention in our current “unprecedented” national tragedy? Years from now, after the dead have all been named and numbered, after the economic trauma of the pandemic has been tallied, after the liars and the truth-tellers have all been identified—will we then be able to see God working good among us?

I have chosen to preach on this complex text in this complex time on Sunday morning. Joseph’s willingness to forgive his brothers, coupled with his ability to see God at work in tragedy are both perplexing and inspiring to me. Please join us for worship—our first attempt to Zoom on Sunday morning. All the information about the morning—our 9:30 a.m. Vitality Talk, 10 a.m. Worship, 10:45 a.m. Coffee Hour—is included below.

As I sit down to write Sunday’s sermon, I am mindful of those who among us for whom this day is a day of mourning. We remember with you. I am mindful of those among us for whom the pandemic is more than an inconvenience. We see you. I am mindful of the chasm of political opinion growing daily wider in our country. We clasp one another’s hands across that divide.

I have learned, as have those of you who have suffered tragedy or turmoil, that we cannot make meaning out of our circumstance while in the midst of it. It is only after the fact, after we have suffered sleepless nights, gritted our teeth and forged ahead, leaned on one another for support, that we might be able to catch a glimpse of some God-intended good emerging from the harm we have suffered. Today I pray a glimpse of God’s good intent for you, in whatever sorrow or anger or fear or tragedy troubles you.

And perhaps we will one day be able to join Joseph in the bold claim, “Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good.”

Pastor JoAnn Post

A Full Zoom Sunday

On Sunday morning we will gather for faith formation, worship and fellowship “live” by zoom.

We invite you to join us on Zoom at 9:30 a.m. for a Vitality Talk, during which we will launch our Holy Family Fall Challenge. We will take a brief break at 9:50 a.m. to give you time to prepare for worship.

At 10:00 a.m. we will launch Worship on that zoom link, our staff and worship leaders joining us from both the sanctuary and their homes. Also, for the first time in this pandemic season, we will offer Holy Communion during worship–virtually. In preparation for worship, you might consider creating a “sacred space” in your home. Bread and wine or juice. A candle. 

At 10:45 a.m. we will launch Zoom Coffee Hour, a 30-minute opportunity to see one another’s faces and chat. If the group chooses, we may break into chat rooms for easier conversation.

The Vitality Talk and Worship will be recorded, and posted later today for viewing by those who cannot join us “live.” Please use the Zoom link below to participate in any or all of Sunday’s events. You may join our activities at any time between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m., when the Zoom link will be active.

Because this is our first attempt at Zoom Sunday Morning, our efforts will be modest. Please be patient! If all goes well, we might gather by Zoom again in the future. “See” you later!

Sunday Zoom

Time: Sep 13, 2020 09:30 AM

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Meeting ID: 861 6871 4468

Passcode: 205154

Dial by your location

    +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 861 6871 4468

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