A Message from Chaplain Rick Bunker
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. – Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV)
This has been a frighteningly difficult year. Should we still celebrate Thanksgiving this year? Yes, it may be more important than ever! We could have a great day of Thanksgiving because these difficult times can call us to be grateful for the ‘simple things in life’, the things that really matter, and not be too focused on the things that we would like to have.
Epictetus, one of my favorite Greek Stoic philosophers, he came along late in the line of classical Stoics, said, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” It sounds a lot like my mother’s repeated refrain to me to count my blessings. Well, it was good advice, and it still is good advice.
Cicero said, “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues but the parent of all others.” Having virtue will bring happiness you know. Without thankfulness you most certainly cannot be happy.
Well I am making a lot of quotes, but with times being so tough, and touchy in so many ways. I am leaning on some of the greats more than ever to rise above and not just get in the middle of it, but this is good, sound, and sure advice.
What does it have to do with the above Scripture passage? Well, I am grateful that God is a sure refuge and strength. I am grateful that God is an ever-present help in trouble. I am grateful that God can get us through, keep us from giving up, and keep us from becoming so angry that we quit and get rude and grumpy. Is that too campy? Well I believe it with all my heart, and it is keeping me going.
By the grace, peace, and power of God your chaplain is not going to quit ministering no matter how long crazy covid continues, and no matter what is next. I am happy to have seen how we have made it thus far through this mess, and I am excited to see how God will show Himself strong to save us from whatever is ahead of us!
Celebrate Thanksgiving, put up those Christmas and Hanukah lights as soon as possible, and celebrate New Year because God goes before us and is making a way for us. The Chaplaincy won’t be able to have the traditional Christmas Party that we usually have but we are going to do the best we can. We will have Christmas gift bags filled with gifts, decorations, crafts, and treats! They will be picked up, delivered, and given out.
But Thanksgiving comes first. If you need a turkey and everything that goes with it come and get it at the recreation hall or call and we will bring it to you. Thanksgiving comes first, and if you can read this, you can start by giving thanks for that. Thanksgiving comes first and then, and then, oh what great things will come……..
The LORD hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. – Psalm 126:3