I invite you to hear these words from Isaiah 26:1-3, “…We have a strong city; God makes salvation its walls and ramparts. Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.” These words have been a comfort and guide to people of faith through the centuries, even for many who faced more difficult times than we face today. Rupert Brooke was a soldier in the trenches during WWI, surrounded by death on an unimaginable scale. He found peace and strength in a place of hurt and wrote that he had “…gained a peace unshaken by pain…” My friends, we are in a season of change. Change brings calls for deep soul-searching and change shakes our foundation to see what is good and to reveal what needs to be repaired. Our God does not change so He is always a trustworthy anchor in the repair process. We have heard much in recent days about what is wrong with our country. We should be listening. Less audible have been any voices reminding us of our strengths. We are not strong when we pretend we have no problems to be addressed. We are not strong when we forget that we have so much good that has been a blessing for people all over the world. We are strong when we recognize that we have the right ideals and values; so we resolve to be ever more vigilant in living up to them. We have a strong city whose walls and ramparts are God’s salvation. May we now chart a course that keeps the faith with God, that honors Him first and out of that will be found good ground upon which to repair what needs repairing. This is raising the bar on our discipleship.