Connecting and Caring

Posted by Ruth Beresford on

"Connecting and Caring" is the theme for our approaching Annual Parish Day (AKA Annual Meeting), where we lift up our ministries and celebrate God's blessings among us. As we continue the joy of Easter - of God's work in Christ Jesus that offers us life beyond death - and prepare for our May 21st Parish Day, I want you to know the surpassing love of God in Christ. It is the love that enters a room of disciples, cowering in fear, speaking peace. The blessing of God continues to give us peace in anxious times. The surpassing love of God empowers parents to bring their young children for baptism so that they grow up knowing they are loved and blessed. Love creates community, as each of us are drawn into a deeper connection with one another and with God.

In thinking about love, I found a passage in my journal by Ronald Cole-Turner, a professor of theology and ethics at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He writes, "All things begin in love, are perfected through love, and return to love. With stunning brevity, [St.] John tells us what God is and what God is not. John might have said that God is power or order or goodness. In our insecurity and longing for protection, we often yearn for a God who can control nature and prevent sickness or violence, a God who will protect us from all harm. In a world of moral confusion, we wish for a God who lays down the law with complete clarity and holds everyone accountable, catching the cheaters and rewarding the obedient. In our hunger to possess, we might even imagine a God of prosperity, who promises to make us rich if we obey a few principles. Whatever may be true about God's power or moral order or generosity, John avoids all these descriptions in favor of the simple word agape or love. It is not power or law or prosperity but self-sacrificing love that is the heart of the truth about God. "More than power or even goodness, God is love - restless, creative, self-giving, opening, flowing out into the other, coming back in new wholeness."

It is such a privilege to have this kind of ministry together, where God's love is known and shared. I pray you will join in the new wholeness of love here.

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alan robb Apr 20, 2017 3:42pm

Beautifully written as always Ruth. ❤ Alan Robb