God has no favorites in St Johns Presbyterian ChurchAn 86-year-old woman flying for the first time heard the following announcement over the plane’s intercom: “This is your captain speaking. Our number four engine has just been shut off because of mechanical trouble. However, there is nothing to worry about. We will continue our flight with three engines and will land in Chicago on schedule. Also, I have some really reassuring news for you. We have three bishops on board.”

The elderly passenger, who had been listening apprehensively called the flight attendant. “Would you please tell the captain that I would rather have four engines than three bishops.”

I would too! It’s not that I don’t respect bishops and appreciate their ministry – I do. It is just that, as a pastor, I realize that clergy get no special favors. The Lord shows no favoritism. And, whether we like it or not, understand it or not, sometimes bad things do happen to good people.

I don’t know why that is. I just know that it is. But I do trust that God is with us – even during the most trying of times. I love the words of Psalm 46:

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth gives way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.

Our prayer today was written by Rev. Roger Kunkel, founder of the Dial Hope Foundation. Let us pray:

O God of all precious things, who hears our pain even when tears of liquid love block our words, create in us a heart of laughter and hope. How great Thou art! Grant us the boldness to lift lazy will out of the desire for security, the paralysis of analysis, to the risk of faith, the laughter of love. God, we love you! Thank you for walking in when the rest of the world walks away. Through the amazing grace of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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