Pastor's Desk

July 2020

Casting Your Anxieties

As a young boy the summer season always meant one thing, two months of baseball while school was not in session. For eight weeks, from Monday to Saturday, my friends and I would gather at the park and enjoy a continuous string of games with make shift bases and homemade jerseys. We would also have a contest over who could make the fastest and hardest pitch, and when I think about this I’m reminded of this verse from the book of 1 Peter:

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time He may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7)

The word Peter uses for “cast” is ἐπιρίπτω (epiripto) in koine Greek, and unlike what we often imagine it does not mean to simply throw our troubles to God. In fact, it is pitching our troubles as fast and hard as we can, and the Lord does more than catch them like a baseball in a glove. The Rev. Ruedi Basler writes that God absorbs our cares in Himself, and when we cast them we should have the goal of getting them stuck in Him. We should strive as hard as we can to get them lodged and embedded in God, and He will always take the heavy hit because He truly cares for us.

Our anxieties should be “stuck” in God.

– Rev. Ruedi Basler

The Proper Time

When I first learned the meaning of casting all anxieties, I thought it was a requirement or formula for the proper time. If I made the fastest pitch, like the baseball contests of my youth, then God would exalt or lift me up from all the things that troubled me. But as I studied the letters of Paul I learned that this was not the case, for in Jesus Christ the Lord has already brought about the proper time. In Ephesians Paul says:

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

Through Christ, the Lord has conquered everything that can troubled us, and we share within victory and are raised up or exalted with Him. And we cast out cares it is not earn the proper time, but to offer thanks and praise to God for bringing us the proper time. Of course, within this life we will still face many anxieties, but we can cast them with a joyful force unto the Lord Who cares for us.

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

Leave It There

Since our last public service in March before the COVID-19 lock down, I have been pressed by many anxieties regarding the future of All Souls. I have watched as the current pandemic has brought an end to other young congregations, and in response I have prayed and worked with an urgent sense of worry. After all, I was not trained for such a situation in seminary, and I have often flown by the seat of my pants in leading worship and pastoral care. Furthermore, I am anxious for how things will be when our services resume in August. Will some people not return? How will the liturgy be? How will we celebrate the Sacraments? Will we have another lock down?

Indeed, these past few months have loaded me with many cares, and each time I am overwhelmed I pitch them to our loving Lord. But sometimes, I am tempted to take anxieties back up again, and when I do I listen to a hymn called, “Leave It There“. On Sundays, when baseball and other sports were not allowed, my friends and I would sing this hymn with our Elders in Church.; as it did then, it reminds me now to not pick burdens up again and to leave them with the Lord in confidence and trust.

This summer I pray that you would do the same as you cast your anxieties. May you throw them as fast and as hard as you can, and leave them with Him Who cares for you. And if you find yourself tempted to take them up again, click on the link above and listen to the song or pray the prayer that is written below.

Blessings and I wish you a wonderful summer with joy, peace, and rest,

-Pastor Scotty

A Prayer For Casting Cares

O most loving Father, You call us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing except losing You, and to lay all our cares on You, knowing that You care for us. Grant that fears and anxieties in this mortal life may not hide from me the light of Your immortal love shown to me in Your Son, Jesus. In Your holy name I pray. Amen.