Up front please understand I can only give a first aid level answer here.  Deep hurts will need specialized care.

We are connected to all life. When we experience troubles we feel disconnected.  Life for us is not as it should be.  We want and need it to be whole again.  We cannot be whole unless we reconnect to life.

Primal cultures knew this need uncomplicated by scientific dissection.  For an individual or a community to regain wholeness, they developed rituals that fostered this connection.  They danced and sang together.  They shared meals.  They cried and laughed together.  They developed rituals to re-affirm the connections, the community they had.

We should never think we have become so sophisticated that we don’t need these same things.  We need to find people with whom we can share our tears and our laughter.  We need to find the music of our hearts and dance to it.  We will always have these needs.

The church is a beloved community not because it has the right doctrine or makes sacrifices that appease God, but because it offers a place where that connection can happen.  At least, it should be that place.   When communion is offered as a sacrament it is a pledge that we are connected to the Source and Sustainer of life and we are connected to all who have been, are now and ever will be. It is our sacred primal ritual for healing.

Where there is life there is hope for hope is an integral part of life.  However, hope can be dashed and torn when people, institutions and nature become hurtful.  But life is still present beyond individual beings. We think of God as that more powerful and consistent life.  Hope is restored when we reconnect to that God directly.  Those who claim to be God’s representatives may not give us hope, but we can bypass them in our spirits’ deep yearning for God.  We may endure a night of hopelessness but hope surely dawns eternal.

Pastor Phil