This morning I (and all of us) woke up to the news of Ukraine being invaded by Russia. This event marks a tragic day for our world as lives have been lost, safety has been threatened, and global stability is at stake. I can’t help but fear the vast consequences of this act of violence.

But this also isn’t the only thing going on in our world. We each have things going on in our own lives that cause fear to creep up from within. There are also politicians at work in Florida and across our country who are working to threaten the safety and freedom of countless people in marginalized groups.

All across the world, power is being thwarted for unjust cause. Power is being used to manipulate entire groups of people and is bringing about a lot of harm and fear in this world. There is simply a lot to be afraid of.

This Sunday we will be reading from Joshua 1:1-9 which describes the moment when Joshua was called into leadership after the death of Moses. At this point in Israel’s story, there is also a lot to fear. There is uncertainty about their future, especially after losing their faithful and prophetic leader, Moses. There is impending violence and a long road still ahead of them. And yet, God says to Joshua, “Be strong and courageous.”

I can’t help but think of Joshua’s internal feelings of fear and trepidation at this moment. I imagine he is overwhelmed at this calling to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. And yet, the call upon him is simple, “BE BOLD. God is with you.”

For us who may have a bit of fear right now, God’s call to us is the same, “BE BOLD. Remember God is with US.” Though the world can appear to be quite grim and heart-wrenching, we are called for such a time as this to stand firm in our faith and speak out for the things that we believe in. When we join together in the boldness of our faith in God, mighty things can happen.

In my quiet time this morning, I read these words: “Peace is not complicit or passive. As sure as you can hear a mighty river rushing from miles away, peace roars its cry for justice” (Morgan Harper Nichols, Peace is a Practice).

We believe in a God of love, peace and justice. But friends, peace requires our bold participation with God and others. Today, might we hear the cries for justice of all those across the world in harm’s way, and may we act in deep faith and prayer to bring about peace, love and justice into the world around us.

I pray you will consider joining us for worship this Sunday at 11am online or in-person. Let us come together to gain nourishment, hope and inspiration from God as we worship. Hope to see you then!

Peace and blessings, 

Pastor Kipp