East Side Presbyterian Church Blog
July 25, 2018, 10:48 AM

Being proactive when danger looms and disaster strikes


What can we do to help?

When danger is looming and disaster is already here, what can we do to help?

As Christians, we believe God is present everywhere, and this includes situations of danger and disaster.  Whether or not the vast rescue team was aware, hundreds of people not only collaborated with one another to rescue the Thai soccer team, they co-labored with God. We know God saves and we know this is about much more than simply avoiding hell. It is about the new heaven and the new earth that God is bringing into being. It is about the reconciling of all things in heaven and on earth in Jesus Christ.

The words of the prophets remind us that we are called to join God's work to give all people a place to live and be fully human, to grow their own fig trees and enjoy their shade and their fruit. Jesus said that he came to give life, and abundant life at that.

So we know what God was doing in the caves in Thailand.

This means we also know what God is doing right now in Girard, PA, as the First Presbyterian Church of Girard faces the destruction of their church building. Not just a part of the building, but the whole building. Some brick walls still stand, but they hold up no roof, and they're singed.

We know that God heals and saves, and we know that, somehow, God is working even in the midst of this awful loss for good.

It is easy to misunderstand God's plan and work, however. How does God provide? How does God create goodness for us out of disaster?  So very often God provides, heals, and saves through us

Of course, this is why we Presbyterians have and support the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) program. The director of PDA, Laurie Kraus, has already been to Girard,  and a team is there now for the coming week. The Presbytery of Lake Erie is on the ball.

What can we do to help?

At least two things:

1. Pray

2. Donate.  DR000180-Girard, PA is the fund set up by the PDA to donate specifically to the First Presbyterian Church of Girard. You can also write checks with " DR000180-Girard, PA" in the memo line and either bring them to church or send them to the PDA. Let me know if you need more information.

That's how we can help now.

But we can be more excellent and joyous in all our helping.

We know and believe that God is always working to bring about the new heaven and new earth, always working to save, heal, and provide. The more we practice laboring with God, the more danger and disaster will be handled in a way that affirms all human life.

I want each of you to be able to grasp the depth of God's love for you as well as for the world. So I have a suggestion for you: pray and discern.

When you get up in the morning, ask God to show you how you might love God that day with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and how you can love your neighbor as you love yourself.

And at the end of your day, reflect on how your actions and thoughts of the day reflected your love of God, love of your neighbor, and love of yourself. With whatever insights you gain, pray to God praising God for the opportunities to show love and asking help from God to love even more deeply the next day.

And today and all days, may you receive all the help you need from God's overflowing heart and God's people.