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Courage - Monday Musing, August 17, 2020

Dear Church,

Courage. Courage is defined as strength in the face of pain or grief. Do you think of yourself as courageous? Steve Garnaas-Holmes wrote this in a recent blogpost, “Be a good steward of the courage you are given.” Do you think that you have been given courage? And are you a good steward of that courage?

I have never thought about being given courage before. I assumed that courage was something that swells-up inside you, such as in a fight-or-flight situation. Sometimes we are courageous in the face of pain or grief. Sometimes we are not. Does that mean we are not good stewards during times we feel we do not have the strength to go on?

Is it courageous to accept a certain course of treatment? Or maybe it is more courageous not to get the treatment. Are we considered courageous only when we do something? What about when we do not do something? In living our lives, we face situations every day that require us to make choices, some of which cause us to be fearful. Perhaps overcoming our fear determines whether we are being courageous.

Spiritual courage is defined as accepting that you are unlikely to find the answers but ask them anyway. To be spiritually courageous means accepting the mysteries of life. Doesn’t asking questions and accepting mystery simply mean being a person of faith? Each Sunday during the welcome and announcements, I describe our church to our online congregation saying, “No matter who you are or where you are on your life’s journey, you are welcome to be a part of this community of faith who believes that inviting questions is more valuable than supplying simple answers.” Have you thought The Federated Church of Orleans is courageous to accept that we do not know everything about the One whom we follow, the God we believe in?

This global pandemic is certainly testing our limits in many ways. We face pain and grief because we are unable to gather as a community of faith to worship. We ask questions and are having a difficult time accepting that there is so much that is unknown about COVID-19. Eugene Peterson in The Message puts the words of Deuteronomy 31:6 this way, “Be strong. Take courage. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t give them a second thought because GOD, your God, is striding ahead of you. He’s right there with you. He won’t let you down; he won’t leave you.”

In these days when there is so much pain, grief, and unanswered questions, may you stand fast and be courageous. We do not need a building to be the church – the church is you and me. We will face these challenges and be courageous – together.




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