Sometimes, language simply fails us. At those times, we fall back on the most basic utterances. This week is one of those times.
The devastation in Turkey and Syria, following a series of earthquakes, has been unimaginable. While it will be difficult to finally ascertain the number of dead, it currently stands above 45,000 persons. Those persons who survived have no shelter, little services, and a chronic shortage of food and water. All this in the midst of winter and sub freezing temperatures. It will take years to repair and rebuild the damage. However, the immediate concern is for simple necessities to sustain life.
The UMCOR International Disaster Response team is designed for just such a time as this. UMCOR, the United Methodist Committee on Relief exists to provide disaster response to persons both within and, through the International arm, without the USA. They are providing relief and assistance in the affected regions. An absolute strength of UMCOR is that the administrative costs of the agency are covered by the General Church, resulting in 100% of every dollar received being available for direct service to the cause. Few other relief agencies can claim the same.
I announced several weeks ago that we would receive a special offering last Sunday for UMCOR, to provide relief to the victims of the earthquake(s). I can report that we received $872.42 for UMCOR Sunday! That's right, $872.42! And if we are typical, more funds will come in at a later date. This brings me around to the original sentence in today’s post. Sometimes, language simply fails us. It is at that juncture I declare, “God is good!” God is working through each of you to be Christ’s hands and feet in the world. This UMCOR offering is evidence. Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for your faithfulness.
The next four Sundays of Lent, leading us to Palm Sunday, will be spent in the strange world of the gospel of John. We will observe Jesus’ interaction with four individuals, teaching us something about Jesus, about the Kingdom of God, and about ourselves. I would argue that the characters that appear in this gospel are not simply random folks, but rather, are representative of us. Consequently, we can learn about ourselves and our relationship with Jesus as we immerse ourselves in the text.
This week we spend some time with Nicodemus. We will also celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Our Lenten study continues at 9:15 in the Cook Room.
Yep, God is good!
See you Sunday,