Senior Pastor, Reverend Bridget Thornton
I'm a fan of cooking competitions: Chopped, Iron Chef, Baking Championships, etc. It usually drives my husband, Kevin, a bit crazy because I like watching people make these elaborate meals or baked goods and I don't often do that myself. But there is a rule often said by judges in these competitions: if you are going to do something simple it must be executed flawlessly. I think there is a truth in there that is applicable to us. Our job is to do two simple things: love God and love our neighbor. Since they are simple we should be able to execute them as well as we are able.
However, we tend to make those two simple things complicated. We add rules, we set unnecessary expectations, we worry, and we fear. Love really is simple. Yet, since it is so very simple it needs to be executed flawlessly or as best as we can. When we mess up in loving others it leaves a lasting impression at best, and at worst it causes harm. Worst of all, if we mess up while trying to love in the name of Jesus, it may be what turns another away from God or the church. This stark reality can put fear in us – fear to be willing to love, to be willing to love in God's name. This can cause us to hold back.
We rarely love perfectly, after all, none of us are perfect. That doesn't mean we can't love, and even love well. We love well by first learning to love God and learning of God's love for us. Out of that our ability to love others begins to flourish. The more time we work on growing in our love of God, the more we will see an ability to love others grow in us.
As we continue to celebrate Easter we will be focusing on growing in our love of our neighbors. Through the month of May, the sermons will focus on how we love our neighbors. How do we love neighbors who have different religious views from us? How can we love across economic divides? How do we love those who we disagree with and who don't look like us? We are to be a people marked by love. And so at the end of April, I challenged all of us to participate in 30 Days of Love. The 30-day challenge is in this month's newsletter as well. You can also
follow along and share all the ways you are helping us as a church share love with our community. I can't wait to celebrate all the ways we share the love of God.
Amazed by Grace,