Friday, October 09 2020
“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:4-7).
Paul asks us to pray for one another in times of trouble. The early church had strong divisions very much like the divisions that exist today in our church and in the nation. We are asked to do everything in thankfulness. Each day I give thanks for this community and the way we support one another and the folks that live around us. While many are fighting with one another, we must press forward in the love of God. Bishop Curry tells us that, “The way of love is a commitment to seeking the good and well-being of others” (Love is the Way p.242). We all know the bible verse, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son” (John 3:16). This word love is translated from the Greek word agape. Bishop Curry defines agape love as “sacrificial love that seeks the good and well-being of others, of society, of the world” (Love is the way p. 14). He goes on to tell us that love is a verb that is meant to be fierce. Jesus told us that, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s own life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). We are starting our second session of Sacred Ground and I am thankful for all those that have continued to support this program as we continue on our journey to becoming a beloved community. This month I ask all parishioners to support our Harvest Fair any way you can. Buy your raffle tickets, donate a basket, help mark the White Elephant merchandize, buy some Vermont Cheese or St. Hilda’s handmade gifts.
Today’s Gospel invites all of us to the heavenly banquet, but warns us to be wearing a wedding robe. A white robe represents our intention to accept Jesus Christ as our Lord, respect, and follow him by changing the way we live our life. We do this not for the church, but for our soul. Jesus offers forgiveness to all those who turn from sin. John Wesley said that all are called to glory, but we have a claim to glory only through the righteousness of Christ. Only through our faith in his redeeming grace, can we be saved from sin, made holy, and find everlasting life. We know that we are invited to the banquet, but how do we put on this wedding robe so that we will be holy in God’s sight at the heavenly banquet? We begin with the understanding that we were formed in the image of God’s love and given the whole world into our care. Unfortunately, throughout our history we have turned from God and each other. The Good News of the Gospel is that God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish, but have eternal life. God has forever shown his unconditional love for us and we are invited to attend the heavenly banquet by following the way of love. Presiding Bishop Curry asks us to walk in newness of life through the love of God, through the redeeming grace of Jesus, and through the power of the Holy Spirit. “Love can help and heal when nothing else can. Love can lift up and liberate when nothing else will. May God love you and bless you" (Love is the Way p. 248).
In Christ’s love,