you don’t need to tell me this has been a rough time for our country and world. Even in this challenging time, I’ve been so overwhelmed with the beauty of the world, too. Maybe the hardness of this moment has broken us all open in ways that make us receptive to good moments. I’ve had several times in the last few weeks where I’ve been overwhelmed by the beauty of the natural world. I’ve stepped out on the porch and seen the moon and fireflies and sunsets, and it all seemed so good and blessed.

The worship series we are in, titled Beguiled by Beauty, seems just right for me now. We can’t forget, as difficult as this time is, there is so much beauty all around us. If you’re needing a little encouragement right now, you might just go outside, and find a place where you can take in some beauty. You don’t have to go far; the porch works just fine for me. Look at a sunset, or the night sky, or something growing, and you might find your faith encouraged by knowing God isn’t far from us.

On a different note, one thing I’m going to do over the next few weeks is try to share one thing we all can do to resist racism. The last few weeks have shown us we have some work to do in dealing with racism. I want to share one thing, as I communicate with you, that we all can do. The first is to say something. All of us probably occasionally hear a racist comment or joke. It’s sometimes awkward, because we’re not sure how to respond. We need to be able to say that type of talk is not ok. There’s no need to be sanctimonious about it. Just a simple reply of, “Hey, words like that might be hurtful to others,” sends a simple signal that racist speech is not ok. Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Let’s all resolve not to take the do-nothing path. Let’s say something.

Grace & peace,

Jason Jones