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Worship Beyond the Walls

June 13, 2016

 

Romans 12: 17 - 21 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God;for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."20 No, "if your enemies are hungry, feed them; if they are thirsty, give them something to drink; for by doing this you will heap burning coals on their heads." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

 

Peace and love to you, in Jesus name.  

 

Peace AND love.  Since the devastating news of the senseless death of so many sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, husbands and wives in a Orlando, FL gay night club, we certainly need more peace and love.

 

Peace AND love.

 

When I woke up Sunday morning, the news about the mass shooting had just started breaking.  At the time, there was no indication of how great the loss was for so many families and how deep the evil was which perpetrated the act.   Gathering in the sanctuary of an inclusive night club on a Saturday night, people danced, laughed, celebrated and enjoyed life as God has provided it.    In the same way, on Sunday morning we gathered in the sanctuary of an inclusive community to praise, laugh, and enjoy life as God has provided it. 

 

In essence, both moments have been shattered and shaken by the depths of hate and evil.  The people in Orlando with the direct impact for the survivors to be haunted by the nightmares of the moment and the families with carrying the grief of lives cut short too soon.  The people at Journey of Faith, indirectly with how do we live out a faith so easily expressed in the confines of a worship service but made real with how we navigate the world in which we live?

 

Our gathering for worship is not a means to escape from the reality of the world's brokenness but a moment of preparation to engage the reality of life all around us. Worship is not for the purpose of bringing God's presence into our lives but acknowledging God's presence is already here in the grace and love of Jesus and how do we share the presence of the Lord at home, work, school, the grocery store, the night club, the gay bar, etc.?

 

As followers of Jesus we are called to be love, peace, justice, joy, hope, faith as the Sacred Spirit directs us.  Following Jesus is not for the faint of heart, but for the broken of heart; those who have been broken and healed by the grace and love of God and therefore bring healing to a broken world.

 

 Leaving from a gathering for worship is where true worship begins.   Worship takes a lively form when we express the message of the gospel in our daily living.

 

Bring love AND peace where you go! Be love AND peace where you are!

 

Love, Pastor G

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