Rev. Kate VanDerzee-Glidden is pastor of First Church of Christ Congregational of Glastonbury.
Scripture: Psalm 34: 1-8, NRSV
Of David, when he feigned madness before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away.
I will bless the Lord at all times;
his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul makes its boast in the Lord;
let the humble hear and be glad.
O magnify the Lord with me,
and let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me,
and delivered me from all my fears.
Look to him, and be radiant;
so your faces shall never be ashamed.
This poor soul cried, and was heard by the Lord,
and was saved from every trouble.
The angel of the Lord encamps
around those who fear him, and delivers them.
O taste and see that the Lord is good;
happy are those who take refuge in him.
Reflection: The Power of Words
Growing up, church played a very important role in my life, and so did some family members who talked openly about their faith in deep and profound ways. One of those people was my Grandma.
When I was a child, I would get anxious about things beyond my control like if a family member was sick or how we were going to solve the world’s problems of hunger, the destruction of the environment, hatred and inequality. One time when I was visiting my Grandma at her house on Long Island, she shared a poem with me. My Grandma loved poetry – writing it and memorizing it. She found comfort and inspiration in the words and images.
For close to thirty years, the poem that my Grandma taught me when I was a child has brought me peace and comfort. To this day when I get anxious or upset, I say the words that my Grandma taught me so long ago:
God is my help in every need,
God does my every hunger feed.
God walks beside me, guides my way,
Through every moment of the day.
I now am wise. I now am true.
Patient, kind and loving too.
All things I am can do and be
Through Christ the truth that is in me.
God is my health, I can’t be sick.
God is my strength, unfailing quick.
God is my all, I have no fear,
Since God and love and truth are here.
The Psalmist exclaims that if we seek God then our fears will be taken seriously, and we will find comfort and peace. We all need the reminders that God is present in our lives and the world guiding, comforting and loving us. “God walks besides me, guides my way, through every moment of the day.” May these words provide peace and comfort to our wearied and worried souls.
God of the journey, often we expect life to be filled with only joy and hope. Yet we all experience the challenges of life – the disappointments, the confusion, the fear, the sadness. We give thanks, Holy One, that you are with us on our journeys and that we meet people along the way who inspire and comfort us. May we be open to your spirit and willing to risk the joy and challenge of being faithful disciples in all that we do and say. Amen.
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 affected by severe flooding in Texas
- for those experiencing homelessness, especially the unsheltered, during these colder days and nights
- for transgendered individuals who face new proposals by government officials to define gender as immutable and fixed at birth
Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving:
- for those who stand up to and learn new ways to combat injustice
Please Remember These Connecticut Conference Churches
In Your Prayers:
First Congregational Church of Woodstock, UCC
Union Chapel UCC
Abington Congregational Church, UCC
First Congregational, UCC
The First Congregational Church of Ansonia, UCC
This Week in History:
Oct. 24, 1945 (73 years ago): The United Nations is formally established. It's charter called on the organization to "maintain international peace and security, promote social progress and better standards of life, strengthen international law, and promote the expansion of human rights."