facing new circumstances

Sometimes in life we are faced with numerous changes and problems, to the point which it seems hard to juggle it all, even hard to keep everything in mind. I can feel overwhelmed with all of the problems in owning a home and trying to do so responsibly when funds seem short. But on top of that, one can face new matters which in themselves are far more important.

In the news we see new circumstances which might impact us and will certainly potentially affect others. We may have our challenges in the United States, and we do. But they’re nothing in comparison to those faced in so many other countries, I’m thinking now of Nepal, which may soon be outlawing Christianity (and I think other religions different from their traditional Hinduism).

When we are faced with new circumstances, some of which may seem threatening, we need to hold on to our seats so to speak, and simply keep doing what we have been all the more, while we navigate the new waters and make the changes necessary.

For me that means remaining in the word, in scripture, and seeking to be gospel-centered. It means sharing that gospel when opportunities come, since I see that as the one good news we all need in a world and present life inherent with problems, struggles and setbacks.

The one constant is God in Christ by the Spirit. We must remain in the word and also in the sacraments and common life of the church.

It might be a temptation for some to jettison basic values or practices. In fact keeping the faith is not a given, it is something we must work at and pray toward. We must make the effort.

And so I continue my normal daily Psalms, Old Testament and New Testament readings, along with slowly working through my New Testament/Psalms and Proverbs, which I carry everywhere (three copies: one for work, one for home and one for work at home). For me this is the life, and is life in and through Jesus.

At the same time I don’t hide my face in the sand or deny problems. An interest in the gospel means an interest in the real world, since that is ultimately what the gospel addresses, not only in the “sweet by and by,” but in this life as well. We face all of our problems in view of the cross: Jesus’ death and resurrection, so that we can rely on the promise good for this life as well as the life to come.

In the words of the Kenyan rite:

Celebrant: All our problems,
People: We send to the cross of Christ.
Celebrant:All our difficulties,
People: We send to the cross of Christ.

Celebrant: All the devils works,
People: We send to the cross of Christ.

Celebrant: All our hopes,
People: We set on the risen Christ.