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  • Writer's picturePastor Jess Scholten

Pastor's Pondering - January 21, 2022

Dear friends -

In book club this week, we were reflecting on the kinds of shifts that help remind us of hope, especially when we get trapped in fear. Prophets in the Old Testament gave these kinds of speeches on the regular, reminding the people that the despair they were experiencing… in exile, in the wilderness, in drought… was temporary. God is always on the move – helping new things to spring forth, making rivers in the desert (Isaiah 43). These passages and reminders to the people are called “salvation oracles.” The author of our book, Kelley Nikondeha, reflected Old Testament scholar, Walter Brueggemann’s, take that Salvation Oracles “break the power of nightmares by reminding us all is well.” (You can read the reflection here: One of the members of the group talked about this with her own children. When they came in, afraid because of a nightmare, she would tell them to flip their pillow to the side with good dreams. Sometimes we have to flip our pillows to the side with good dreams. We need our own reminders of hope and the steadfast love of the Lord. This coming Sunday’s half-truth sermon is not even a half truth: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves. Go find it in the Bible – I double dog dare you. I can make such a bet, because it’s simply not there. God is our help, and God gives us the community of the church, so that we have one another’s help as well. When long days of winter and pandemic are making you feel like we’re still living in exile, let’s flip our pillows to the good dream side. We have so much abundance for which to be thankful – let us spur one another on with salvation oracles which remind us that God is still with us, still making things new, still surrounding us with faith and love, and still calling us to serve in a broken and hurting world so loved by God. Grace and peace, Jess

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