I want to remind you that while when two or more are gathered, God is amongst them, our great Creator dwells in the most unlikely places.
In the past months, I’ve struggled to find my place and rhythm in the new phases of my life. From beginning my second year of seminary, to serving my first congregation, to becoming more involved in the spiritual lives of people around me.
It’s easy for me to recognize the Spirit of that living god when I am on the summits of life’s mountains, but it is extremely difficult to find God in the valleys; and I must admit- I’ve had some very deep valleys.
I’m reminded of when I surrendered myself to the call to ministry- I placed on that altar of my mind the notion that I have to accept the grace, mercy, and love of those people who have supported me in the valleys.
Again, I have yet to fully embrace the notion of not being alone in my journey, though I am grateful to those who take their time to constantly remind me what I believe at times is not the case.
One name we give to Christ through the scriptures is “Emmanuel”- “God is with us”.
And I wholeheartedly believe that if God was not with me in my valleys, I would never have made it out of them.
Friends, loved ones, we are all among the children of our Creator and are all of sacred worth and purpose. God is with us on our mountaintops, where the light shines all around us and that divine radiance is warm and inviting- where God’s Holy Spirit nourishes us and allows us to grow and produce good fruit that can be shared by all.
I want to remind you today that we are not alone in the valleys. When we find ourselves in despair- in solitude- in that great dark expanse- remind yourself of Emmanuel; God is With Us.
God is with you in your trials.
God is with you in your withdrawals.
God is with you in those thorns and those seasons of life where you may believe Light cannot pierce through.
We are called to mend this broken world- even if we are broken people who cling so hard to those things that have broken us.
Grace. Mercy. Love. These are the balms that cover a multitude of sins- a salve made of living water that heals, and stitches, and binds together our wounded and broken souls. That we may be better able to reconcile ourselves one with another, and in turn forgive and love ourselves when we do not treat ourselves as we deserve to be.