Pastor’s Reflection

Happy July!
 
As people of faith we live in the tension between being aware of the fallen world in which we live while simultaneously noticing where we see God’s work of reconciliation and restoration taking place.
 
Worship models those two realities as we confess our brokenness and offer our prayers of intercession for the needs of others around us and in the space of the same hour, we receive the good news of the gospel and celebrate God’s grace to us in Holy Communion.
 
I recently came across a news story that shows brokenness and the transcendent presence of God in such a beautiful way. Perhaps you have also heard of the protests that have been occurring in Hong Kong, a city of some seven million people. When legislation was proposed that would allow China to extradite fugitives from Hong Kong for the first time, concerns arose that it could lead to further erosions of the city’s cherished freedoms.
 
Somehow as small groups gathered in protest, singing a simple round together over and over, a movement was born, with eventually nearly two million people participating in the process. And the song? It’s “Sing Hallelujah to the Lord,” with this simple chorus:
 
Sing Hallelujah to the Lord,
Sing Hallelujah to the Lord,
Sing Hallelujah, sing Hallelujah,
Sing Hallelujah to the Lord.
 
Would you like to hear this song being sung by the populace of Hong Kong? Check it out here: https://time.com/5608882/sing-hallelujah-to-the-lord-protestors-hong-kong-extradition-anthem/
 
This movement has caused the officials to take notice, resulting in the suspension of the proposed legislation, even though resolution of this issue has not yet fully come. Not only is this good news for the citizens of Hong Kong, it’s also inspiring for us to notice how this song of Hallelujah was sung in one accord by people of many different religious affiliations or of none at all. When conflicts with the enforcement authorities threatened to break out, as people continued to peacefully sing, the environment was transformed.
 
The gracious presence of God unites people and gives them a common hope. It is so encouraging to see this happening. Makes one wonder where and when similar movements of the spirit are bringing people together and giving them hope.
 
Let’s open our eyes and the windows of our hearts to perceive what God is doing. Isaiah 43:19 says this:
 
“Behold I am doing a new thing, now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. ”
 
I hope we’ll share the signs of encouragement of what we perceive as God’s redemptive actions with one another. As a counterpoint to sharing what concerns us in this broken world, let us also share where we see restoration and hope.
 
Peace!
Pastor Stephanie