A Message from The Very Rev. Dr. Walter V. Hillebrand

04/06/20 12:47 PM
Category: General

God does not punish us but loves us unconditionally.

“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”  (Romans 8:18)


Beloved Grace Family,


Covid-19 is heavily impacting NYC and our immediate neighborhoods.  Most of us listen to the News daily and all we hear is bad News worsening every day.  What should one think of this crisis?  Is God punishing us?


At this point, all of us can see clear evidence that we weren’t the best stewards of the gift God has entrusted into our hands.  Mother Earth is greatly suffering under our lifestyles which are polluting the entire planet.  We have poisoned our own food sources, the water that we need to live on, and even the air that keeps us alive from breath to breath.  We truly have not shown good stewardship.  And even now, many of us decline the responsibility and want to continue to do the same.  Well, this surely is not a great accomplishment of our generation, especially when thinking of our children and grandchildren.  So, from this perspective one could truly think that God had enough from us and that we somehow have exhausted all our pardons.  But that is not the case.  


Our God has provided us with an open covenant, a promise that is always open and accessible to us.  In John 3:16 it is written: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  God does not punish us but loves us unconditionally.  


Most people do not understand true love.  No wonder, because some of us never have experienced true love.  Some of our parents did not receive true love from their parents and this pathology was passed on over generations all the way down to us.  Most of us understand love as “giving and taking.”  However, that is wrong.  True love is unconditional!  There is no expectation attached to true love, there can be no strings attached to it.  It is free and accessible at all times for the one that is loved.  


Oh I know, that seems to be impossible to understand for some of us.  However, that is the love that God offers us.  To love us always no matter what.  


As you can see, God would never punish us with a pandemic such as Covid-19.  The contrary is true, God is walking with us in this crisis.  He is with us during our time of affliction and struggle.  The Lord our God is with us in times of fear, anxiety, and suffering.  That is what God is all about.  


I invite all of you to pray:  Pray for your Grace Parish, your neighbors, for the elderly, for the sick and their families, pray for our first responders, the nurses, doctors, EMTs, and all that are on the front working to keep operations going from cleaning the door handles to taking care of our people in nursing homes and hospitals.  Thank you Father for the gift of life and love.  We are thankful and grateful for your presence, for your comfort, and especially the hope that you give us during this time of affliction, the hope for better times, and the hope of your eternal kingdom.  AMEN


Stay Healthy - Stay Home - you could save lives!

Fr. Walter+