Friends in Christ,
Preparing for the new season of summer and looking forward to a different rhythm in the life of the church via the congregational picnic at Hunting Island State Park, Vacation Bible School, Music Camp, and the Music & Worship Conference at Montreat, the month of June will disappear before we know it! As the temperature warms up and the days yield to thunderstorms and gentle rains (we pray for friends and neighbors ravaged by tornadoes and flooding in Texas and Oklahoma), we are also aware of the arrival of a new hurricane season. This is important to us because we are one of the many communities along the east coast that remains vulnerable to high winds and strong seas. The fury and destruction of Hurricane Hugo is still fresh in our minds, too.
Like the last twenty four years, I will again bow my head, fold my hands, lift my heart and pray, “O Lord, on behalf of the people who live along the sea barrier islands of South Carolina, I do not ask for special protection over and against neighbors to the south or neighbors to the north. I do ask, O God, that you watch over us as potential storms come and go. I offer this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.” By the grace of God, as summer and the hurricane season comes to an end in November, hopefully and prayerfully having been spared from the wrath of Mother Nature, I will again be able to lower my head, fold my hands, and pray, “Lord Jesus, thank you. Amen.”
Storms come and go. They are a part of life. Peter and the disciples experienced storms, one in particular on the Sea of Galilee and they were filled with panic and fear. Before night ended, Jesus calmed the storm and the men who had been subjected to a blowing wind and high seas learned another valuable lesson of faith. Christ Jesus is with us on the days when we enjoy the blessing of blue skies and warm sunshine, and he is with us on the days when a vicious storm threatens our security and peace.
Unfortunately, for different reasons, storms surface from time-to-time on the ecclesiastical horizon. In light of these kind of storms a good friend recently suggested the thought and theology of Paul, “As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Jesus Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful.” (Colossians 3:12-15)
In closing, the congregation of the Sea Island Presbyterian Church remains a faithful community and family of faith that endeavors to worship the Lord, grow in the grace and love of Jesus Christ, and do the work of the gospel where God plants and calls us. Peace and Grace to all, and may we give special effort to staying connected during the months of summer. Amen.
Pastor Steve +