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We Shall Overcome

“I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:33 NIV

As I read this verse, the old spiritual anthem of the Civil Rights Movement, "We Shall Overcome," comes to mind. This song sang at countless peaceful protests and marches voiced the belief that things would improve for people of color.

We shall overcome,

We shall overcome,

We shall overcome someday!

Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe

We shall overcome someday!

The last verse from the United Methodist Hymnal #533 is:

The Lord will see us through.

Jesus came to free us from the sins of this world. Freedom from injustice, sickness, war, calamity, addiction, poverty, and anxiety. We have those troubles in this world because humanity has rebelled against God. As a people, we have failed to love God and our neighbors. But in his grace, God sent Jesus to earth for us, genuinely human; he experienced all the things we face. He suffered oppression; he got sick, he wept. Then, dying a human death, Jesus conquered the grave and returned to his Father. He did this so we could have the hope that we, too, can overcome the world.

This promise of eternal life does not give us an excuse to sit back and wait. With the time we have in this world, we should try to make it better. Filled with the Holy Spirit, we are led to make positive righteous change for all people everywhere.

Gracious and loving Father, giver of all good things, we give you thanks for the hope to overcome. Thank you for Jesus Christ, our Savior, who offered his life so we can have that promise. Thank you for the Holy Spirit, which leads and guides us. Please help us to be your people in this time and place, and let our words and actions be messages of hope for others. Let them reflect your glory. Amen.


Pastor Tim

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