Our “Christ centered Core Values” are not just for our church life together, but they are expectations that can be used throughout all our relationships. By living out what it means to be a Christian, we become transformed, and so does our world around us.
We first looked at: Joyfully Sharing Jesus Christ & Providing Engaging Worship. This helped us focus on our attitude in life as one grateful for God’s unconditional love. Then last week we talked about Equipping Disciples through God Given Gifts and Accountable Small Groups. This refers us to the daily disciplines of learning, growing, empowering each other in face to face, personal ways.
This week we look at “Radical Hospitality” and “Involved Mission and Service.” And we do it in the context of Mother’s Day and Pentecost.
Because Easter came so early this year, Pentecost, (the birthday of the church) is also early and coincides with Mother’s day, the second Sunday of May.
Pentecost is the third most important holiday of the church, along with Easter and Christmas.
It celebrates the Holy Spirit empowering of the disciples to move out of Jerusalem, (where they had been in hiding) and to begin spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to the rest of the world. (You can read all about it in Acts 2:1-11 http://bible.oremus.org/?passage=Acts+2:1-21&vnum=yes&version=nrsv and in a commentary at: http://paintedprayerbook.com/)
And it’s fair to say that our core values of Radical Hospitality and Involved Mission and Service could be phrases that are descriptive of many of our mothers. With cookies at the ready and a willingness to welcome any persons we brought home for dinner, moms set the stage for both of these.
Involved Mission and Service could come in the challenge for us to straighten up our rooms and clean up after the dog, or it could simply be “living by example” when they throw themselves into helping those around them. So we have the opportunity to talk about the Holy Spirit in the context of a Mother’s love and the love of her children for her.
It seems the first part of that, a Mother’s love, gets the most press. But to me, the holiday is more about how we as children grow to appreciate the sacrifice that a mom went through in order to give us birth.
All of us have a mom and we thank God for life. However, all of us may not have the long-term relationship that we’d like with our moms. Moms are very human and, like all of us, make human mistakes. Sometimes the relationship grows stronger through all the trials and errors they (and we) face. Sometimes the relationship between us becomes estranged and difficult.
God’s unconditional love for us in Jesus Christ calls us to a life of forgiveness and reconciliation that goes beyond the norm and always seeks to heal any brokenness that we encounter. God’s love works especially with the brokenness we find in families.
So I hope and pray that this Mother’s day is a day that goes beyond flowers and a dinner. I hope and pray that all of us can find time for some deep and thoughtful sharing about the relationship you have with your mom and with your children. Some time to express how deep your love, as a gift from God, really is. Perhaps that conversation could include some healing and reconciliation. Wouldn’t that be a great Mother’s day gift?
It’s a day that hopes for the best, even as it recognizes that we all have some distance to go in how we deal with each other. It’s a day that gives us some insight into what it takes to give the gift of life to another person, and what we might do in order to pass along that gift in a spiritual way.
So…. Happy Mother’s Day - and Happy Pentecost! And we hope and pray that it’s filled with “Radical Hospitality” along with some “Involved Mission and Service.”
And don’t forget to ask yourself: “Are we taking every opportunity to learn and grow closer to God?”
“Are we aware of what our Spiritual Gifts are and how to use them?”
And “What do we know about Jesus and the style he used to teach his Disciples?” “How do we best help each other attain what God has in store for each of us?”
Does the living of these values appeal to you? Why or why not?
How might you change them? …or make them part of your life?
Would you be willing to give them a try for a day? …a week? …a month?
How have you lived closer to God this day?
How goes it with your soul?
Grace and Peace, Pastor Terry
“We are called to be generous friends of God,
and to let others see Christ transforming our lives”.