Almost everyone I meet believes in God-and then they proceed to explain to me why it is that they don’t go to church. They have disconnected their belief in God from any meaningful connection with the community of God’s people. As a pastor this causes me grief, fear, and a certain sense of helpless alarm. (Sorry, I know you were expecting me to have the answers.)
But I find hope in this text because it reminds me that God never abandons anyone, and that God’s intention is to gather the scattered. God is going to call them back to a life of remembering the Lord and walking in God’s name. God. Not me.
So is it my role to simply stand back helplessly and wring my hands? Emphatically, “NO!” This text gives me clues for my own calling as I look for that day: To keep God in mind in my own life, to live with compassion and not judgment vis- -vis the scattered, to continue to notice and exult in what God is doing.
Lord, I bring to mind the people in my life who have scattered and feel alienated from your church. Cause them to remember you and to be drawn back into the fellowship you have created. Amen. — CN