September 20

Numbers 11:4-6,10-16

“So Moses said to the Lord, ‘Why have you treated your servant so badly? Why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me?’ vs. 11

The people complained to Moses about conditions in their camp, and Moses complained to the Lord about the people. This incessant reciprocal whining was understandable and necessary. Humans have to be able to vent when the pressures pile up. It was true for the Israelites and it’s certainly been true in our congregations over the last couple of years. The COVID restrictions and mandates have produced countless protests from congregants. Some have felt they go too far and others have thought them inadequate. And in many places the complaints have been directed to pastors. People have had a multitude of suggestions and some have not been shy about venting. Many have just quit worshiping altogether! And many pastors have been feeling the pressure. Totally unprepared for anything like this they’ve struggled to cope–and they’ve heard the complaining! Some pastors have followed their people out the door. This isn’t what they signed up for and they feel totally frustrated in ministry. Others have hung in there, but it hasn’t been easy, and like Moses, they’ve filled the Lord’s ears with their own prayerful complaints. They feel the burden–and have shed more than their share of tears. Blessed are those who have found support among their peers and in their congregations. It’s so much easier when burdens can be shared.

Thought for the Day: How has the COVID crisis affected my pastor?

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