Beauty for Ashes

I’m not going to blame God for the mess Nashville has been facing -

(this is a sticky theological quandary – if we give God credit for the “good”, what do we do with the “bad”?) –

First, tornadoes. Then CV19.

No, not gonna blame God.

But I do know that God is in the business of making beauty from the ashes of our lives.

The following is not an original story. I forget from where I got it. The story has been lurking in the wallows of my email feed for months, waiting to escape. Here it is:

Where is God in the suffering?

That was the topic of last night's middle school confirmation class. Tough Topic. I was the adult facilitator at a table of 8th grade boys. Tough crowd. Essential Messages: Free Will...God Never Leaves Us ... Empathy... Compassion.

You know what really struck me? When our Director of Youth Ministry shared a story about his art. He explained that when he was in art school, he would "dumpster dive" for discarded art supplies and materials. He also found rejected canvases. No one starts with the intention of a failed creation. But sometimes we stumble, we get lost on the way.

Our youth minister shared that he took the canvases to reuse, but here is what surprised me. He didn't start by covering the old work with white paint. He created something new through something old - letting colors and brush strokes from the original work remain.

What a powerful image. Something beautiful discovered, reclaimed, transformed….

In the middle of your mess, God is writing your message.

Do you have a “beauty for ashes” story in your life?

Read these words from Jeremiah – these words were originally addressed to Israel, and we, the body of Christ, are in the line of Israel: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. (Jer. 29:11 NRS).”

In the midst of this CV 19 challenge, hold onto God and one another. And encourage one another to hold onto God!


Yours in Christ,

Pastor Leslie


Here are websites for information on the Covid19:

WHO https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

CDC https://www.cdc.gov/

TDH https://www.tn.gov/health.html


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The Hermitage

Presbyterian

Church