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From the Desk of Pastor Dan Forsgren

February 2018

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord!

"The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord” We remember this verse from the book of Job. After God has let Satan destroy everything that he has, kids, and livestock, for a bet, Job makes this faithful declaration in the face of losing all he has. Many of you know how excited I was to watch the Minnesota Vikings miracle in Minneapolis catch to defeat the New Orleans Saints a few weeks ago…I was on cloud nine! Many of you watched the game as well and sent congratulatory messages after the win, we talked about it that week, and we even played the clip of that final 10 seconds of the game the next week before church. I was so excited! I was finally going to get to see the Vikings go to a Super Bowl that I could remember…the first time a team would have played in a Super Bowl in their own town! The Lord certainly does giveth!
A week later those dreams were shattered as the Vikings forgot to return to the field after the opening drive against the Philadelphia Eagles. Oh they were there…but it was obvious that they were off their game, that they played nothing like they did to get them to that point. The Lord taketh away.
Blessed be the name of the Lord! It was a great season; the Vikings gave us a lot to celebrate and some good times. Really, knowing that the Vikings were one of the top 4 teams out of the 32 in the NFL…I am proud to be a Vikings fan.
Last night you may have watched President Trump give the State of the Union Address, and if you did you might be feeling a little bit like Job…at various times during Job’s story. Depending on where you fall on the political spectrum you may have either found the president’s points he made agreeable or irritating. Certainly the room he spoke to was divided even as he talked about our nation’s need for unity. We can fact check, we can throw out counter arguments or points for various comments, and those are necessary for elements for a democracy, to hold accountable our elected officials for what they do and what they fail to do; to question what needs to be questioned, to rally against what needs to be rallied against, and to stand in unity when we need to stand in unity. There are people unhappy with Donald Trump as president; there were people unhappy with Barack Obama as president…The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. That is not me trying to be flippant about anyone’s political or personal feelings or beliefs about who holds the highest office in our land, but rather it is me recognizing that the same situation is looked at very differently by two different people.
So, what does this have to do with anything you might ask? As we glean from Job’s statement of faith, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.” Ultimately, God is in control. No matter which political party holds sway over the house or the senate, no matter who sits in the oval office we believe that all things work towards God’s will. That does not mean that we always will like the climate, or the status quo, but we trust that the kingdom of God will reign and good will triumph over evil, that the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness will not overcome it.
In the meantime, communication, mutual respect, and finding some common ground would be great news to hear from Washington, D.C. Until such time, we wait as Job did, some happy, some wishing things were different and calling out that which goes against the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For us, members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Coeur d’Alene Idaho, that means trying to see Christ in our neighbors, loving those people who we often find difficult to love. As a friend of mine Pastor Bob Berthold once related about a conversation he had with a parishioner about welcoming of people who were different, when asked what this parishioner thought Jesus would do in this particular situation, the man responded, “Pastor, I know what Jesus would do, but THAT’S NOT WHAT I WANT TO DO!”
Loving as Jesus loved is not always easy…often not easy, but it is right and good and when we do, the kingdom grows a little bigger and a little brighter. His ways are not our ways. It is a good thing we live under Grace! Blessed be the name of the Lord!

In Christ,
Pastor Dan Forsgren

In Christ ,
Pastor Dan Forsgren
pastordantlccla@gmail.com | Download Pr. Forsgren's Message

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