Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…
We have been entrusted with a precious gift. The gift of a church, a community, a beautiful and flawed gathering of the young and old. We have been entrusted with a precious gift: a community of diverse opinions, political persuasions, ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic status. We are diverse, and yet, we sit together, serve together, worship together, and pull together to change our island, and the world, for the better.
We have weathered many storms together and we have remained resolute in our commitment to love God and to love our neighbors. Our differences are real, but our differences do not define us. Our differences are real, but they will not deter us from our shared mission.
Together we follow the example of Jesus; our lives are lived as a response to the amazing grace of God. Consider for a moment the foundational principles of our shared life.
BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING
“I will bless you, and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing… and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” Genesis 12
LOVED BY GOD CALLED TO LOVE
“Beloved, since God loved us so much, we ought to love one another…. We love because he first loved us.” I John 4
FORGIVEN TO FORGIVE
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” The Lord’s Prayer
GRACE, MERCY, AND PATIENCE
“The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 145:8
MINE IS THE CHURCH WHERE EVERYBODY’S WELCOME
“As Jesus sat at dinner in the house, many tax collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees (the self-righteous religious people) saw this, they said to his disciples, ‘Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?’ Jesus responded, ‘Those who are well have no need for a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’” Matthew 9
PUT YOURSELF IN THE PATH OF THE GOSPEL
When Jesus heard that the Pharisees were conspiring against him, he departed. “Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them.”
Healing, forgiveness, words of grace, and the invitation to new life came to those who put themselves in the path of Jesus. Good things happen when we gather in the sanctuary and share the journey of faith and doubt together.
We have been entrusted with a precious gift. We have been blessed in a thousand different ways. We have been given numerous new beginnings. We are 1 percenters living a life of privilege. All that we have is a gift from God. May our lives be lived in the path of the Gospel. May we live and love joyfully as a response to God’s grace.
One day closer,