Devotional Thought, May 27, 2023

Courageous Communities – over and over in the past few months I have learned so much about what it means to be courageous.

For instance, last week, we planned a fish fry in Elgin and a Farmers’ Breakfast in Portland. Both were well supported. The communities surrounding both churches got involved and a good time ensued.

You might ask, ‘What was courageous about that?’ We are beginning to see through the last few years of a pandemic, people are still wanting to celebrate, to be a part of each other. Seeking out community is a brave thing. Our fears are may be just below the surface, but the desire to not be alone takes courage.

There are times we are called upon to have courage – to speak out for what is right. It is not always easy. You may face ridicule, you may lose friends, you may feel like you are standing alone.

There are times when you are not comfortable to reach out to another, to show compassion, to try and understand. We are called to be courageous Christians; to share God’s love to all.

Yet, in the middle of talking about courage, we must look at some truths of what this means. Here, in this land, we see little of the aggression that others experience. But is that really so?

Just this week Charlotte Hoy mentioned some of her fears. When I arrived home, I began to recall her words. She talked about the destruction of our planet, how animals, people, the planet are being destroyed. She prayed for people around the world who suffer from the injustices of war. She mentioned the political climate, divisions throughout, people hungry for power. And she referred to those who have come to our part of the world searching for safety, running for their lives, looking for compassion and understanding. And she mentioned also about a heath care system that is floundering, the rising cost of food, stagnant wages.

So much of what she shared resonates in each of us. Being Christian in these times is not easy. We are called upon to live as Christ would, to give as Christ gave and to love, even when it hurts, even when you want to run away.

Courage to love may take time. But I believe this is the time to stand up and be counted. Look for ways to share Christ, be brave. You are not alone. Scripture tells us clearly in 1 Corinthians 16: 13, 14 –

Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous.

Be strong. And do everything with love.

May each of you find courage this week as you walk in the light of God.


Liz Church

Director of Pastoral Care

Elgin/Portland Pastoral Charge