Ministry Updates for Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
Return to In-Person Worship
We are planning to return to in-person worship on July 12th. The service time will be at 9:00am. We will continue our Facebook Live Worship indefinitely, but it will be moved to 11:00am on July 12th. This return date decision was based on the responses we received from the survey many of you participated in.
Scripture for Reflection – Matthew 5:43-45
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven
Reflection – Closer Relationships – Part III of III – Help From God
Monday and Tuesday we spoke of building closer relationships through listening with the intent to understand, and through speaking our vulnerabilities. These two practices together are a powerful way to build bonds with people who are important to us. But stepping into the debates surrounding our current national distress can test the bonds we have built.
One event can spur many controversies. The police are all good or they are all bad. Riots are clearly wrong, or they are the inevitable result of oppression. Protests are an important tool of democracy or they add fuel to a bad fire. Racism is a major problem, or it is not. Prayer vigils draw on the power of God, or they avoid constructive action. I have heard these statements, in one form or another.
We may hesitate to use the words ‘hate’ or ‘enemy’, but our hearts know the difference. Frustration over divisions can lead to hate. Hate can lead to enemies. The impact is not just in the streets, but in our homes, extended families, communities, nation, and world. As a Christian leader, I would like for us to have peace in all places. Where there is unrest, it affects everyone, as a single even in Minneapolis has once again taught us.
Jesus tells me two things with which I am not comfortable. He says there is no room in my heart for hate, for arrogance, for any kind of intolerance. He also says, there is room for everyone in my heart, even those I strongly disagree with, even my enemy. These are not easy truths to face.
Can listening with the intent to understand and speaking with vulnerability really make a difference? The Bible says ‘Yes!’, and so does my experience. But we need more. We need God’s help. So we pray for those we love, and for those who give us grief, remembering Jesus died for that person too.
God of life and love, in this time of national distress, help me be a force for peace. May my actions be a response to your call and your will, and carried out with faith, hope and love. God, we want the kind of close relationships which do not fall apart in a storm, but rather allow us to give and receive strength, so we may be children of our Father in heaven. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.