Rev. Dr. Mobby Larson is a retired pastor living in SE Connecticut. She supports local churches with supply preaching, enjoys time with her children and grandchildren (all local!), rings in a concert handbell choir, and spent much of the past year sewing hundreds of masks to donate.
Scripture: Psalm 62:5-12 (CEV)
Only God gives inward peace,
and I depend on God.
God alone is the mighty rock
that keeps me safe,
and God is the fortress
where I feel secure.
God saves me and honors me.
God is that mighty rock
where I find safety.
Trust God, my friends,
and always tell God
each one of your concerns.
God is our place of safety.
We humans are only a breath;
none of us are truly great.
All of us together weigh less
than a puff of air.
Don’t trust in violence
or depend on dishonesty
or rely on great wealth.
I heard God say two things:
“I am powerful,
and I am very kind.”
The Lord rewards each of us
according to what we do.
Reflection: Power That's Kind
We have moved into 2021, not at all unhappy about seeing 2020 in the rearview mirror: the pandemic, economic crises, cultural conflicts, raw emotions, and lack of trust in just about everything and everybody. We were all torn with issues of power and abuse, with truth and “fake” news. The world was spiraling out of control; nobody trusted the government; families were split with painful disagreements.
So, how’s 2021 going so far? Have we found a path to health and wholeness? Economic security? Truth? How long will it take for us to learn to trust once again? And is there any hope of peace?
I have always liked the Psalms; they tell it like it is—no holding back. Sure, there is abundant praise of God and God’s works throughout the psalms. But complaining and wailing are just as common. And yet, behind all the words of despair, frustration and loss, there are profound statements of faith, of ultimate trust in God. The psalmists are secure in their faith that God will not turn away honest seekers and people with concerns.
God is the mighty rock, the mountain to which God’s people can run to escape their enemies. God has power. But what is even more mind-splitting is that God is kind, very kind.
Wow! Power that is kind! That’s what we have all been yearning for, praying for. Power that still works for our good, even when we have little to offer. The message I take from this psalm is to be careful where we put our faith and our trust. We need to trust in power, but only when that power is paired with kindness.
This week as we celebrate the life and ministry of Martin Luther King, Jr, as we pray with our ecumenical partners for Christian understanding, as we inaugurate a new President, let us be guided by the God who is the rock with power to keep us safe, and the kindness to accept us as we are. Let our faith open us to the inward peace only God can give.
Holy God, help us to follow in the footsteps of Christ, confirming our faith and trust in you. Give us understanding of your ways for us. Inspire our leaders, that they may use their powers with kindness. May it be so.
New Prayer Requests:
We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Drew Page at firstname.lastname@example.org
Prayers of Intercession:
- For those grieving as this nation approaches 400,000 dead due to the Covid-19 disease
- For the family and friends of Rev. David Galen Johnson, former Minister of Visitation in Deep River, CT, who died on Jan. 11
Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:
- For a safe, peaceful transition during this week's inauguration ceremonies
- For musicians, artists, and performers who have found new ways to share their talents in this restrictive time
- For those who lead as Martin Luther King Jr did, advocating for causes through non-violent means
This Week in History:
January 18, 1958 (63 years ago) Willie O'Ree becomes the first Black man to play in the National Hockey League, taking the ice as a forward for the Boston Bruins. O'Ree did not score a goal or register any assists in the game, though did have a successful career with the Bruins and for many teams in the AHL. O'Ree's 1958 debut was met with very little news or fanfare, and came 11 years after Jackie Robinson famously broke the barrier in Major League Baseball on April 14, 1947.
“Study the past if you would define the future.”