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Mental Health Sunday

 Dear friends,

Though we won’t be gathered for worship, this coming Sunday marks Mental Health Sunday in the United Church of Christ

calendar. This is a Sunday when we are invited to pray for, and think about how we might support, the mental health of

ourselves and those around us.

I love how this theme comes fast on the heels of Easter. When we think about the Resurrection and Ascension, mental health might not be the first thing that comes to mind.

But remember the people whom Jesus heals, and instructs to “take up your bed and walk.” Remember Mary, weeping outside the tomb. Remember Jesus himself, in a moment of doubt on the cross. It’s safe to say that mental health and Christ’s ministry are closely related.

The theologian Paul Tillich says that, in our modern era, Christian faith gives us “the courage to be.” Our modern world is distinguished by anxiety, irony, and the fear of meaninglessness. Into this void, Tillich says, comes God when all other powers and forces have failed. “The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God disappears in the anxiety of doubt,” Tillich writes.

The God whom we know through the resurrected Jesus did not come back for our perfect, flawless selves. God came back for our whole selves, that we might be healed, and that we might be non-anxious sources of comfort and strength for other people.

Maybe you know someone who is struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, or some other mental demon. Maybe that person is, or has been, you. Today, know that God is on your side. Know that the resurrected Jesus loves you, is patient with you, and cares for you.

Know that things can get better. For this is the Good News.

God’s peace,

Nate

Rev. Nate Klug