Forest Lake Talks

A Message from Ellen

October 28, 2020

October 28, 2020

Dear Friends,

We do not know what the future holds.  I guess that is always true, but somehow most of us skate along on a very thin veneer of what we call normal, and we are always surprised when normal comes to an end.  But, as we all try to peer into the fog of the future, perhaps we should instead begin to be surprised when the normal holds, surprised when our plans come to fruition, surprised when what we planned to do we were able to do. 

The story of Scripture is a story of both how God uses the chaos to form and re-form a faithful people, and also a story of how God brings order to the disorder, light into the dark, and life out of dust.  So, whether our lives are a lesson in normal or a study in chaos, we know, believe, and confess that God is in control.  Both chaos and order can serve God’s purposes.

No matter what happens as a result of this election some things will always be true.

· God is in control of the universe and God’s purpose will be accomplished.  No one person, no election, and no worldwide pandemic can thwart God’s ultimate and final purpose for redemption and reconciliation and eternal life. (Revelation 21:6)

· God calls us to be among those who work for redemption, reconciliation, truth, and eternal life, and we do that in the middle of the mess and confusion of this world. As those who claim to be God’s children, we either work for the purposes of God or against.  We are responsible to hold our actions up against the gospel of Jesus Christ to measure them for truth or distortion. (2 Corinthians 5:19-21 and Ephesians 2:13-22).

· No matter what someone does or says to us, Christians are to seek to see the reflection of God in the eyes of the other, and to treat the other as we would like to be treated. (Luke 6:27-31) This holds true whether it is the cashier at the grocery, a person who wrongs us, or the president of the United States. (Genesis 1:27 and 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 and 1 John 4:20-21)

· Where we can stand up for someone else who is being excluded, bullied or intimidated, we are responsible to do so.  When we can either speak a word of love, or at least refrain from speaking words of hate and anger, we are responsible to do so.  (John 13:34-35, Deuteronomy 10:17-19)

· Those who claim to be followers of Jesus are to expect some suffering and hardship (Romans 5:1-5) and are to expect and prepare for our own death to this life and our life eternal in God’s presence. (Romans 8:18, 24-27)

I pray that, especially in these next few weeks, we will all conduct ourselves, in person, on social media, with our friends and with our political opposites in such a way that if Jesus showed up we would (1) not be ashamed and (2) be so practiced at seeking God’s presence that we would recognize Jesus when he showed up (especially if Jesus shows up dressed like our political foes!).  I challenge you to spread grace, love, generosity and patience wherever you go this next week.

Grace and Peace,


Ellen Fowler Skidmore

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