Forest Lake Talks

7/13/23 Devotional from Ed

July 13, 2023

Text: Psalm 13:

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I bear pain in my soul
and have sorrow in my heart all day long?
How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,
and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”;
my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

But I trusted in your steadfast love;
my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the Lord
because he has dealt bountifully with me.


In the adult faith formation class on Sunday, we discussed the Buddhism story of Kisa Gotami, whose young son had died, causing her to go to Buddha and ask him to bring her son back to life. Buddha told her to go into the town and gather mustard seeds from any household not affected by death or grief. Buddha would then take all of the mustard seeds and concoct a medicine to bring back her son.

As you may expect, she couldn’t find any household not affected by death, so she had no mustard seeds to bring to Buddha. Ironically, this comforted her, helping her realize that death and grief are universal.

One of the promises that pastors make upon installation in a PC (USA) church is to pray for the congregation. This is a good thing, obviously – our pastors should pray for the congregation – but when we sit down in a staff meeting and lift up various members of our church family, it is humbling to know how much is going on with all who sit in the pews.

This week’s meeting was another reminder.

In our church family, we have members who have lost children, spouses, parents, friends, and pets. Grief hits in different ways and at different times, and it is our collective task as members of the Body of Christ to be a presence for someone. We are the hands, feet, and voice of Jesus in this world.

Within the next few weeks, we will post the fall faith formation schedule, most of which kicks off in early September. One of those opportunities is a grief group, which is a safe space for any and all who need to share their story, be comforted by the presence of others, and know that God’s presence is also there. This group will meet weekly on Mondays at noon for a few months, and it is my hope that you’ll join me either in person or via Zoom. We use a couple of corresponding texts, but there is also something powerful about being in a shared, trustworthy space.

If you find yourself reading the Psalm above and agreeing with the psalmist’s despair, please let me know ( I’d love to speak with you about the grief group and/or Stephen Ministry. You do not have to be alone right now.

Prayer: Speak to us, O Lord, through the comforting words and actions of one another. May we not be afraid to ask for help when needed, and empower us to be bold and share our story. Amen.

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