Excerpt from Ephesians 2.11-22 (CEB)
We have also received an inheritance in Christ. We were destined by the plan of God, who accomplishes everything according to his design (vs. 11)
I have a fascination with super heroes. I like the idea of superpowers with their alter-egos and how they come to terms with their powers and living in the world. This past week our hearts have been broken and maybe hardened into resolve after the tragedy in Paris, the ongoing turmoil in Baghdad, and the repeated violence that comes across the media cycle.
Sometimes, I hear, in my head, Mr. Incredible from the movie “The Incredibles”
“No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved! You know, for a little bit? I feel like the maid; I just cleaned up this mess! Can we keep it clean for... for ten minutes!”*
The world is not as we hope or God intends, where equity, unity in diversity, and love are the foundational elements; the air its breath. It is a tall order that is moved by prayer, study, and conversation. But action is what unites them all.
Jesus’ salvation is not for you or me alone, it is for us all and it means for us all to find ways to live in this world, recognizing that we are all children of God. As Jesus teaches, He has sheep of other folds even as He is the way. May our way fol-low Jesus’ way, which is one of dying to our own self-serving desires and opens us to use our God-given gifts and graces for the good for all rather than the good of some or none.
May we build bridges rather than barriers. May our actions reflect the faith that we affirm, seeking to look more like Jesus’ way.
Grace and peace,
*The Incredibles. Directed by Brad Bird & Jan Pinkava. Emeryville, CA:Pixar Animation Studios, 2004.
Galatians 6:2 (CEB) Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.
"Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried."-Megan Devine
I read this quote recently and it struck a deep chord in me. Throughout much of life there is this deep need to fix things. And by that I mean, there is need for things to stay put once they have been dealt with. We are to deal with “it” and move on.
Now “it” could be the ordinary stuff like choosing a color to paint the wall or when to do the dishes… those are the easy ones because once decided and completed they are finished. The extraordinary “its” of life are more involved. They don’t fit into nice categories and don’t stay put. These include things like moving, deciding to begin or end a relationship, and death are all things that have lasting effects on our lives.
The extraordinary things aren’t so much fixed as they are carried with us. And while we are more than just the choices that we make, these past decisions can affect our present lives. The challenge is to learn to live with them and not let them swallow you up or entirely define you.
The beauty of the church is that whatever you carry, the burden that you have, can be shared. Jesus talks about a yoke in his teachings and when he talks about the yoke being easy, he is referring to the “work” being done is shared and not placed on one’s shoulder alone. The burden becomes lighter for sure, but not entirely removed.
LPCC has been burden sharing 90 years and counting. Part of the beauty of our ministry is that we show up in each person’s life. The power of our presence is undeniable though it takes work, and it takes us committing ourselves to burden sharing in all the transitions of life. Thanks be to God!
Grace and peace,
Galatians 3.27 (CEB)
All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.
Sunday will be something truly special. The church will be decked out in its finest raiment. I am thankful to the many folks that have dedicated their time, thoughts, and energies to LPCC over the course of this year; from ensuring people received invitations to cleaning, painting, carpeting, and the under the radar stuff that just seemed to “magically get done.”
The celebration of LPCC’s 90 years of ministry will surely be wonderful.
This is the nature of the church. Building on our strengths that have been endowed by our creating God, we have pulled together to be part of what God is doing in our celebrations, preparations, and expectations. Uniquely each of us have ben gifted to do something matchless in this world. We don’t have all the same gifts and graces, but together we have so much more. And to God I am thankful that in God’s wisdom, we are created to be “me” and when a bunch of “me-s” get together they become a “we.” And it is in the “we” that great things are done for God’s glory alone.
Sunday, we will celebrate the many ways that LPCC has been an active part of God’s kingdom over these last 90 years. As we celebrate and honor our past, the past will enrich the present and make fruitful the future. Because Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever and since forever has not arrived just yet, we’ve got some wonderful work to do and celebrate.
Grace and peace,
Husband, father, minister, child of God, follower of Jesus Christ writing in the context of La Porte Community Church