Where do you go for refuge?

But God cannot lie  March 17, 2022

Hebrews 6:18-19 It is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.

Jeremiah 17:7 Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.

I love what this image communicates to me about resilience. I took it Monday beside our front steps.

The world is full of misinformation, and no one is smart enough or wise enough to figure it all out. So, I love this word from Hebrews. There is a place where we can relax and rest, a place to anchor our souls with confidence: God’s strong and loving heart. A place to anchor our resilience in the face of all the challenges we each face.

I want to share with you today the “But God” story of Lawrence Chewning. I don’t know him, but he’s made his story public through youtube.

And I think you’ll be encouraged with me by singing “We have an anchor” along with Loretta Adjetey from Ghana (“Lor” is her stage name). Priscilla Jane Owens, 1829-1907, wrote this song. I’ve been to Accra and have worshiped with and been blessed by the generous hospitality of Ghanaian people. Listening to Lor took me right back there. If you know any of their history, you’ll appreciate even more the beauty of this song in their context. It’s an amazing story of resilience.

A strong and comforting word

But God says to the Son, “You remain forever” March 6, 2022

Hebrews 1:10-12 God also says to the Son, “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundation of the earth and made the heavens with your hands. They will perish, but you remain forever. They will wear out like old clothing. You will fold them up like a cloak and discard them like old clothing. But you are always the same; you will live forever.”

This is a strong and comforting word for these days of chaos and fear and violence and tragedy and death in Ukraine and other places around planet Earth. No matter what happens, Jesus is the same. Everything else may change, but he does not. He still yearns over us with love. He still longs for us to experience abundant life. He still sustains our world by the mighty power of his command (v. 3). He still cleanses us from our sins and intercedes for us at the Father’s right hand (v. 3). He will still return to set everything right and rule with a scepter of justice (v. 8). He still hates evil (v. 9). He still pours out the oil of joy to the extent we can receive it.

A few days ago, a friend’s parents’ house burned. One day they woke up in peace and the next they woke up in a neighbor’s home, trying to make sense of what had happened to their world. Each of you can immediately think of examples in your own sphere of the fragility and unpredictability of life.

But God says, Jesus will remain forever, and he is always the same. We can anchor our souls to him.

Eternal God, unchanging, mysterious and unknown.
Your boundless love unfailing, in grace and mercy shown…

FYI: Our church is calling for a different type of fast each week of Lent. This week we are fasting from social media. So I’ll start catching up a week or so from now.