Midweek Musings 4/3/19
I found out on Monday afternoon that the committee I was meeting with on Thursday wanted a Faith Statement.
But no more than a couple of pages. My first thought was volumes have been written on about God and I get two pages!
My second was that I was glad it was spring break so I could really wrestle with it.
I submitted this to the committee this morning but felt that you needed to see it more than the committee so it will serve as our midweek musing.
I do hope everyone saw the email about Harold’s move. He will be missed. I always appreciated his kind smile and how he would say he didn’t really need any candy as he slipped two pieces in his pockets!
Though you would never know I just took a break from this email to watch 11 deer cross my back yard. It was magnificent. God is indeed good and Gods creation is amazing.
Praying you are having a blessed week.
In life and in death we belong to God.
Through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the love of God,
and the communion of the Holy Spirit,
we trust in the one triune God, the Holy One of Israel,
whom alone we worship and serve.1
When asked what I believe, these words from the Presbyterian Church’s A Brief Statement of Faith are the first thing I recall.
And when I struggle and have difficulties in my journey I return to these words.
These words remind me of the lesson I first learned from my amazingly loving parents, which is that I am a beloved Child of God—and an unrepeatable miracle.
This lesson was continually affirmed by family and friends as I grew.
It was reinforced through loving communities of faith that took their baptismal vows seriously.
These communities helped raise me to know that the God of Abraham was the one who formed creation and called it good, the one who loved creation enough to redeem it through the risen Christ, and the one who still sustains us daily through the Holy Spirit.
They shared with me the story of God’s love and grace that was first revealed in the holy scriptures of the Old and New Testament. This story tells that humanity chooses to reject God and embrace evil. However, the story does not end there as God remained devoted to God’s Children. “Like a mother who will not forsake her nursing child, like a father who runs to welcome the prodigal home, God is faithful still.”2
That promise was made manifest through God’s son Jesus Christ. Jesus came and lived as one of us, proclaiming the good news and calling us all to live transformed lives. Jesus’s life and teachings reveal who God is and proclaims what the kingdom of God is like. Jesus’s love was so great that he willingly sacrificed himself on the cross in order to conquer death and reconcile humanity to God.
The good news of hope is that though God’s children choose to reject God, God is ever faithful and refuses to give up on God’s children.
To share this story Jesus called disciples who were ordinary people. He called them to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”3
I believe that this calling is still carried out today through the church. I believe that the church is the body of Christ alive in the world today. God’s calling to each of us to seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God is brought to life through the church. The church is God’s grace made real. We claim that grace in the sacramental waters of baptism and together at the Lord’s Table. These sacraments remind us that God’s love and grace is greater than we can ever comprehend and allows us to live with joy.
Recognizing this truly amazing grace of God is central to my own faith. As my friend Reverend Tom Are, Jr. says, “Grace is not some sweet attribute of God. Grace is the tenacious faithfulness of God as God holds on to us in the very moment when we give God reason to let go of us. In grace, God knows the worst in us and holds on to the best in us. That’s the whole story of the Gospel.”4
Because of this grace I can live with joy and courage and am able to work with my sisters and brothers in the church…
to pray without ceasing,
to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior,
to unmask idolatries in Church and culture,
to hear the voices of peoples long silenced,
and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.
In gratitude to God, empowered by the Spirit,
we strive to serve Christ in our daily tasks
and to live holy and joyful lives,
even as we watch for God’s new heaven and new earth,
praying, “Come, Lord Jesus!”
With believers in every time and place,
we rejoice that nothing in life or in death
can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.5
1, 2, 5: A Brief Statement of Faith, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 1983
3: Matthew 28:19-20
4: “Grace Is the Whole Story,” sermon by Rev. Tom Are, Jr. November 18, 2018
Please pray for those who have lost loved ones.
Please pray for Rob Lamborn as he begins radiation treatments for a melanoma tumor inside his eye. Radiation treatments will begin April 14 and recovery from the treatment will be several weeks.
Please pray for Sue Shuford, a family friend of Richard Carlton’s. She is facing major back surgery due to osteoporosis and RA damage to her T12. A date has not yet been scheduled for surgery.
From Friends Feeding Friends: Please pray for Charlotte Arnold who has a spot on her lung. Please pray for Jim in the loss of his brother.
Please keep Suzy Smith in your prayers as she copes with cancer. (submitted by Jane Shelton)
Please keep Matt Degutes and his family in your prayers. He was a neighbor of Richard and Ray’s and his daughter and family live here. His cancer has returned and the final decision is no further action.
Please keep Phil Shelton and his family in your prayers as Phil recovers from a stroke.
Please pray for Richard’s brother, Michael Carlton, who recently had a kidney transplant.
Pray for Jessica Forester who is stationed near Dallas, TX.
Please pray for Steven and the Denson Family.
Please continue to pray for all those in our church family with special needs: Bob Lamborn, Zee Martin, Toni Autullo, Harold Wilson, Melissa, and Walter.