December 15, 2020

December 15, 2020

December 15, 2020
Ann Robins
District Superintendent
Tennessee Valley


It has been a year like no other!
We are a tired people.  We have been dealing with racism, a pandemic of the soul, which has hurt God’s beloved children for too many years and now we are dealing with a physical pandemic.  Maybe we can begin to see the large pervasive similarities. 

I wonder if that is how the people following Moses out of slavery felt. They too dealt with the disease of racism that had impacted their body and soul.  The people verbally attacked Moses, their leader,  and they wanted to stone him.  How did he respond?  Read Numbers 11:10-17.  

In verse 15 Moses basically says to God, “I’ve seen enough; I’ve had enough. Get me out of here.”  We can relate.  God told Moses to gather the leaders and God would meet and speak to them and then they (the leaders) would be able to take some of the load of the people. 

Moses took his feelings of hurt, anger, frustration, and many other feelings to God and not to the people.  Moses could honestly bear his soul with all the emotions he felt.  These emotions were not too big for God to hear and the hurt and anger did not change God’s love for Moses.  Sadly, not many of our relationships can endure such pain and honesty. 

Our emotions have run high in this season of the unknown and uncertain.  We have needed Immanuel (God with us) and hope like no other time in most of our lives.  

Jesus led by walking daily through life’s challenges with others and his love was not dependent on how others treated him, nor was his presence or support dependent on all being well with the world.

As we consider that racism is a reality in our world, we must be clear that racism does not honor God.  How are we as leaders addressing this reality?  I look in the mirror to see how I treat others.  I believe we all have challenges we need to address that are embed within us. Some of those challenges are being complicit and accepting things that need to be changed.

I find that I need to be open to acknowledging that I have lots of room to grow.  How can I be a part of dismantling what is hurtful and instead be a part of rebuilding? I have to recognize that change needs to begin with me.  I am reminded that I am called to treat others as I want to be treated.   

I find that I tend to be angry with the person presenting the problem when, in actuality, I need to address the problem and not the person.  Others usually believe they are as right as I think I am.  If we can listen, hear their concern and fears, believe the best of them and calm myself to respond, will we not have more of an opportunity to move forward to work together, and possibly solve the problems? We will certainly not solve the problems by destroying our relationships and hurting one another. 


Immanuel, Thank you for your presence! Thank you for walking with me through the daily life challenges and never leaving me.  Please help me to see the problems around me, and begin with the problems within me.  Please give me the courage to be honest with myself and lead change within and without.  Thank you for being bigger than all that I face.  I ask for your help to love others as you love me. Help me to work with others, looking for and encouraging their best and hoping they see my best.  Thank you for creating the church to be your loving and hope filled  presence in this world.  We ask that you empower each of us and your church to lead from a place of loving all your children as you love us. In your powerful presence I ask.  Amen