Friday, July 24 2020
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
This is one of my favorite passages in the bible because it reflects the foundation of my faith. God created every one of us and we are called to be God’s children. God loves us with unconditional love and nothing can keep that love from us. I know that businesses are hurting, people are anxious, children are struggling, our nation is in chaos, and we are in the middle of the Covid19 pandemic, which has changed the way we do church. I am hopeful that there will be a vaccine this fall or winter and that slowly and safely, we will get back together again at St. John’s. In the meantime, we must cling to the love of God in Jesus Christ. Our community has become stronger and more connected because of this pandemic. I urge all our parishioners to join us for Sunday services in the Garden of Blessing or on Zoom. Please join us for Morning Prayer at 9am each weekday and feel the love of God in our community. Join us for bible study this Tuesday at 11am as we look at the New Testament in the context of the 1st century. Join any of our groups or ministries and stay connected with the community of St. John’s. We invite anyone to join us in any of our ministries.
This week, we look at a group of parables. A parable is like a box with a lid on it. Sometimes parables are hard to understand. We come back to them again and again. One day, God reveals the truth to you in a way that changes you forever. Jesus told parables so that we might look deeper into our own lives. We might think we have it all figured out, but The Word of God challenges your world view each and every Sunday. The Gospel challenges you to make the world a better place, starting with you. The parable of the mustard seed teaches us that from small beginnings great things can happen. God’s reign spreads from a spark to a wild fire when we hear, accept, and grow in God’s love. Even a seed as small as the mustard seed will flourish when it is sown in the ground. The mustard seed is the love of God that is sown in our hearts. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that everyone that believes may have eternal life. Jesus love is sown into all of our hearts and each of us will make it through this pandemic if we stay connected to God and one another.
We will soon be opening a new box. It is the future of the church. Like the parable, sometimes it is hard to understand what is coming. There will be changes in our jobs, schools, churches, and every aspect of our lives. Change is a very scary thing. But what if we needed to be shaken from our feet upside down, so that we might take a fresh look at how we treat one another and how we treat this creation in which we live? Maybe God can work with this horrible situation and reveal a truth that will change us forever. Let us pray,
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In Christ’s love,