I Am Here

Dear Peacemakers,

Dan Olson, one of my favorite professors in seminary said, "Be present, even when everything inside you says to run.” As a fledging seminarian /pastor want-to-be, I was not sure why he would say that? I assumed church and community would be safe places for Pastors to be held up as beloved representatives of God in the world. However, the reality from Moses to Jesus to Me and You, is God’s messengers on earth,if they are faithful, will receive the challenge of being hated and even attacked.

During the MLK Marade on Monday, a dozen or so brothers and sisters of God’s Grace Community Church walked beside the dignitaries to assist Rev Leon Kelly, and the official security officers with crowd control. GGCC has served in this way now for 6 or 7 years. Until yesterday, each time had been a peaceful, pleasant walk from City Park to Civic Center Park. Monday, during the time we walked, a protest broke out that was led by the group “Black Lives Matter.” (BLM) The protest was targeted at Mayor Michael Hancock and Police Chief White. Many of the words the protestors cast were vulgar and demeaning. One can only imagine the pain and brokenness which could cause such a reaction. Mayor Hancock, Chief White and the other leaders remained calm in the face of the verbal threats and anger. The fight or flee instinct common to humanity had to be going on inside these leaders, but no one ran or fought back. Instead of fighting back, the elected leaders offered invitation for conversation, to attempt to work together toward common purpose. Our leaders remained "present, even when everything inside them said to run.”

As with many of the worlds' issues, I am not a firsthand expert. I do not fully understand all that is behind the BLM movement in Denver. What I do trust are some other words that Professor Olson also said, ”The divine authority of scripture is not in its ability to spew timeless truths, but in its ability to hit a moving target.” As the Marade moved yesterday and strong feelings were expressed, one could feel the presence of the Lord saying, "I am here.” The Holy Spirit was hitting the moving target of Denver’s Marade on January 18, 2016. The promise of Pentecost was being kept. “…God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh…”

Prayer concerns: For the BLM and it's message, for our Civic leaders, for church leaders, for Bismarck our missionary who we partner with in Nicaragua, for Brad Corrigan and Daisy Wiberg who lead Love Light & Melody (LLM) who will be with us in worship this Sunday January 24th.

I also invite you to consider attending the Peter Mayer retreat January 30 and being in worship January 31 when he and his son Brenden lead worship.

Still in one peace,
Pastor David J. Jensen



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