Christ is All

Ash WednesdayMessage for Ash Wednesday on Isaiah 58:1-12, 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10, Matthew 6:1-6,16-21 for March 2, 2022 

We do not need to be reminded of death this year—on this Ash Wednesday. It seems like death is all we have had for 2 years—951,000 dead in our own country, almost 6 million deaths worldwide. The news reports more deaths than normal to suicide, drug overdoses, car accidents; there is more anxiety, more teens suffering from depression, eating disorders, and other mental health issues, and if all that was not enough, we now have an unprovoked invasion into Ukraine resulting in more the loss of life. We feel like the Apostle Paul in 2nd Corinthians in his catalog of calamities where he describes what he has gone through as great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, 5beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, and so on…..haven’t we come close like never before, understanding what Paul meant?
No, we do not need to be reminded of death this year; yet here we are—Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Death. Our mortality.

Paul did not need a reminder either—he suffered every day for his faith, for spreading the good news about Jesus and his power over death, his resurrection from grave, and the light of his forgiveness for Paul—a murderer, and persecutor of the church. What an unfathomable forgiveness Jesus had given him. And here is Paul, after all he had gone through to share Jesus’ love, trying to prove his credentials and credibility as an Apostles to the Corinthians –We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see—we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.

At the end of the day, Paul concluded he had nothing—nothing to show them, nothing to prove that he should have their respect or attention. He was not worthy of forgiveness, nor to preach Christ any more than anyone else. All he could say was through all the suffering he endured, he continued to believe in Christ’s victory over death, and he continued to share this truth. Being a pharisee, a well-educated, a high-ranking Jew, earned him nothing—it spared him no suffering—–from beatings, storms, shipwrecks or plagues, the only thing he had to show for his faith at the end of it all was Christ.

He was powerless. His community did not even affirm him—having nothing, and yet possessing everything—only Christ. When everything was stripped away—his status, his respect, possessions, his health, and even nearly his relationship with the Corinthian community, all he could do was cling to Christ—that is humility, that is the right place of the creature next to the Creator, the follower behind his Lord, the sinner beside the Savior. Powerless with only the gift of faith. Having nothing, and yet possessing everything. Paul realized all he had was Christ; Paul realized all he needed was Christ.

You are dust and to dust you shall return. We have gone through a great endurance, afflictions, hardships, pandemic, racial strife, inflation, political division, war—we are powerless over so much of it. Does our education, or income or our politics save us? No. When it’s all stripped away—possessions, respect, status, relationships, health, wealth—what do you have? All we have is Christ.

When in suffering, the only thing we can cling to is Christ—that is our humble stance, the right place of a creature next to the Creator, the follower behind her Lord, the sinner beside the Savior. Powerless with only gift of faith. Having nothing, and yet possessing everything. All we have is Christ; All we need is Christ. You are dust, and to dust you shall return.

We begin Lent with mortality and death to remember that when all the dressing, degrees, and details of our life are gone, all we have is Christ. And Christ is truly the only thing we need. We discover this only through suffering, when our control and management fail us. It puts in sharp relief what really matters—what is really important and what is not. What is essential to life and what is not.

The suffering of pandemic times and all its attendant crises offer us this gift of clarity that Ash Wednesday and Lent puts again into sharp relief: all we have is Christ. We have all heard the phrase, “you can’t take it with you” when you die, whatever “it” is. The only thing you can take with you from this life is Christ—Christ is all that matters, having nothing, yet possessing everything.   

Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return. The only thing with you in the ashes and dust through to the other side is Christ. Knowing this, now, therefore, how are you going to live? Not just for Lent, but with Christ as the most important gift and possession you have?

Isaiah invites us to ensure that people around us experience justice and love and the basic needs of life. Matthew tells us that the practices of our faith are never done for show or for accolades or credit—because we are nothing without Christ. So, pray from the heart out of what Christ has done for you. Give from the heart because Christ has given you all you need. Forgive others because Christ embraces and forgives you in all of your flaws and brokenness. Authentic spiritual practices and acts of justice flow from the life and heart of the one who to whom Christ matters most—to the one who has nothing, yet possesses everything in Christ.

Ash Wednesday strips us down to ashes and dust alone, not as a morbid reminder of death, but as a complete washing in love, so we can see the only true need of our life is Christ. His love is the only thing we can take with us beyond the grave. Lent asks us to live with Christ as our most valued possession—having nothing yet possessing everything.

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Transfigured by Prayer

transfiguration4gh120po mediumMessage for the Transfiguration on Luke 9:28-36 on Sunday, February 27, 2022 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Richardson, Texas 

We have all heard the saying, “prayer changes things.” If you google “prayer changes things,” you can download posters, and pictures and blogposts about how an active prayer life changes “things.” Because that’s what we want, isn’t it? For our petitions, requests and pleas to God to change things out there--around us—difficult situations, obstinate, misguided people, and certainly war-torn countries like Ukraine; we want God to solve our problems, to give us the answer, and to effect the outcomes we desire.

The issue, if this is our only view of prayer, is that it treats God like a holy vending machine: if we deposit enough requests, adequate petitions, with enough faith and the right attitude, God will dispense the goodies. A colleague of mine who worked on a college campus had a student come into her office crying over the death of her father to cancer. She said she prayed and prayed for God to heal her dad and it did not work. Her Christian friends told her she did not have enough faith. While offering prayer petitions is an important part of our prayer life, we can clearly see the limits of having only a limited vending machine model for prayer.

In the story of the Transfiguration, we see a completely different view of what happens in prayer. Jesus takes Peter, James, and John with him up the mountain to pray. Jesus does this repeatedly in his ministry—often going off alone to pray. If prayer for Jesus was simply asking God for outcomes, you would think that at the top of his list would be that his disciples would start to understand his mission and purpose! That they would start to get it! And that they would be able to stay awake during prayer! But if these were part of Jesus’ prayers, God does not seem to pay them any heed, nor answer them in the least.

Instead, Jesus goes to a quiet place on the mountaintop where there are no distractions so he can commune with God, become one with God, experience unity, strength, and divine love in the embrace of God. And “while he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white.”

Jesus’ prayers don’t fundamentally change God. Jesus’ prayer changes him. Prayer changes Jesus. Prayer transforms Jesus into his fully resurrected glory. Then Moses and Elijah, in their resurrected glory appear with him, reassuring him, strengthening him, embracing him—giving him all he needs to walk down the mountain and toward the cross. Moses and Elijah’s appearance conveys a message that Jesus can trust God to get him through his departure into death and back into this glorious state because God was faithful to Moses and to Elijah and the entire witness of the Scripture they represent.

Jesus shows us that prayer is not about what we are doing for God, but rather, it is fundamentally about what God is doing for us—God is giving us the divine self in love, in strength, in glory, in whatever it is we need for the present moment. Prayer is much more than simply making petitions to God. Yes, make your requests and needs known to God—ask for the desires of your heart, the changes you seek, your prayers for the sick, and certainly, please pray for a change in Putin’s heart and for the people of Ukraine, for petitions for peace, but just do not stop there. Prayer is also to remain. Remain, in silence, and wait; wait for God to love you, stay for God to change you, and shape for your divine purpose.

For prayer is not designed to change “things” out there—prayer changes us. Prayer is about what God wants to do in us and through us, and making ourselves available for God to do this work.

We all have times or season when we avoid prayer—maybe we are afraid to say the wrong thing, maybe we do not know what to say—now you know that’s it’s not about what you do, so I hope you are relieved of that fear! Or maybe we do not want to face the ways in which God will change us if we give God the chance. Maybe we want to act like Peter and build a dwelling where we are, so we can stay exactly the same, and never have to engage in the parts of ourselves we do not want to look at or give up. Then we do not have to figure out how to bring the glory of the immanently loving God to this messy and violent world.

I get it. I have avoided prayer myself at times. But then I notice again how lousy I am on my own. How anxious. How controlling. How much I want to live by my own agenda.

And I remember, that is the very reason Jesus went frequently to commune with God. Because prayer and communing with God opens him to the Holy Spirit, which enables every powerful act of Jesus in the world –from his Baptism, to healings, to the calling of the 12 disciples, to enduring the temptations, to speaking the truth. Jesus receives the strength and Holy Spirit that takes him through the cross, to conquer death and back to life again. It all comes out of what God does for him prayer—it comes from showing up for God to love him, strengthen him, empower him, fill him with the radiant light of grace.

Carmelite nun Ruth Barrows describes meditative prayer that allows God to change us in this way:

What is the core, the central message of the revelation of Jesus? Surely it is of the unconditional love of God for us, for each one of us: God, the unutterable, incomprehensible Mystery, the Reality of all reality, the Life of all life. And this means that divine Love desires to communicate Its Holy Self to us. Nothing less! This is God’s irrevocable will and purpose; it is the reason why everything that is, is, and why each of us exists. We are here to receive this ineffable, all-transforming, all beatifying Love.Jesus invites us into this kind of all-transforming, all-beautifying Love that he experienced with God in prayer—so we can become vehicles of his radiant light in the world. Filled with the power of his Holy Spirit, the luminous love of God radiates from our hearts so that others might experience the transcendent, loving presence of the reality of God.*

And how much does our world need this love now. Our world needs the message that Jesus has defeated death itself, not just the current death-dealing powers that be. In the face of war, of increasing anxiety, drug use, accidents, burn-out, insomnia, and other symptoms of pandemic trauma, people you encounter on a daily basis—whether friends, family, acquaintances, or strangers at the store—will receive hope and salve to the soul because of your light, your luminous presence when you are transfigured by God’s love in prayer.

Mother Theresa said: “I used to believe that prayer changes things, but now I know that prayer changes us, and we change things.”

So, try five minutes of quiet a day with God this Lent. And if you already do that, expand it to ten minutes. Allow yourselves to be loved by Love, so you can be changed by prayer, transfigured by beautifying love, transformed by God’s glory into a radiant light!

*See Fr. Richard Rohr's Daily Meditation for Feb. 14, 2022 from the Center for Action and Contemplation or Essence of Prayer by Ruth Barrows (Mahwah, NJ: HiddenSpring, 2006).

Image Copyright. Anonymous. Transfiguration, from , a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.

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Blessing For the Most People Possible

Mafa015 mediumMessage for Epiphany 7 on Luke 6:27-38 given on Feb. 20, 2022 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Richardson, Texas

I have shared before that in seminary in my twenties, I spent five months studying at the University of Zimbabwe in Harare. One weekend, a local student named Phillip invited another seminary student, Todd and I to visit his grandmother in his hometown of Mutoko about 150 kilometers away in the Eastern highlands. Phillip had few resources, so Todd and I rented a little 4-seater car that Phillip drove. The trip was going to take about 2 ½ hours depending on road conditions. We drove out of town and as we chatted away, Phillip saw two people walking on the side of the road. He stopped and talked with them, and they got in the back seat with me.

I had the back seat to myself —a back seat I had paid for—and now I was crowded. We headed off again. A little further down the road, Phillip stopped again, and he picked up two more people. Todd now had a woman on his lap in the front seat, and I had someone half on my lap, half on the person squished next to me. Jammed up against the door handle with the window crank in my ribs, I put my face out the window to get a little air. I was so uncomfortable and started to get mad. Todd and I had paid for this car—it was our money; it was our car, even though Phillip was driving. This was our trip, and essentially, and it was our right to determine how uncomfortable and inconvenienced we were willing to be when spending our money.  And we were being nice! Phillip would never have gotten home if it were not for us.

Fifteen minutes later, Phillip stopped the car again, and picked one more person to make 5 in the back and 3 in the front in a car built for 4 people. I was mad!

In our Gospel reading today, Jesus continues his sermon on the level plain—he came down to a level place so that everyone would know that they are equal in the kingdom of God. Now he gives a little more detail about what living in God’s kingdom is really like if we are still listening!

• Love your enemies,
• bless those who curse you,
• Give to everyone who begs from you;
• Do to others as you would have them do to you.
• lend, expecting nothing in return.
• Be merciful,
• Do not judge or condemn
• Forgive and give

Jesus reveals a society where everyone trusts ultimately and only in God’s goodness as the pinnacle of our life, our relationships, and even our social networks. Jesus wants all people to experience blessing, and for us to be the vehicles of God’s goodness—not based on how other people treat us, but rather based solely on how God treats us—on God’s unlimited love and mercy for us.

It's hard to imagine isn’t it?

• Never letting someone make you mad,
• never giving into vengeance,
• never expecting someone to return a favor,
• never wanting them to give back what they borrowed,
• not hating the person who has done you wrong,
• not resenting being completely squished in the backseat of a car that you’ve paid for without even being asked

Instead, Jesus invites us to be so singularly rooted in God’s over-powering, out-pouring, over-flowing love and mercy and grace, that all of those negative thoughts and feelings fade away; love and forgiveness and generosity come pouring out instead.

Jesus not only did this throughout his whole ministry, but he also behaved this way from the cross:

• seeking mercy for the soldiers who executed him he said, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
• offering salvation for the criminal who hung next to him, he said, “Today you will be with me in paradise.”

Jesus died blessing people.

Jesus rose again so that we might join him and live out his mission of blessing people. Through his resurrection we are filled with his Holy Spirit, so that through him, we might have moments and ministries when we love as God loves, when we offer mercy as God offers mercy, when we give generously as God gives generously. None of us do it perfectly all the time, but through the gift of Jesus Christ flowing through us, we can offer God’s love and mercy and generosity more often than we know.

When we arrived on that car trip to Mutoko, Zimbabwe, we were like clowns pouring out of a Volkswagen. We all stretched and worked out the kinks. I was so relieved to get out of the car and take a deep breath. I was still trying make sense about what had happened in my car that I had rented. Then I looked at the faces of the 5 people we had picked up. They had such huge smiles on their faces! They were so grateful, and so, so happy. They were shaking hands with Phillip and each other, and laughing—they were so excited and so relieved—they had made it home! They could spend more time with their families whom they had come to visit. We had driven nearly 100 miles—it would have taken them 3 days to walk the whole way.

If anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again…. Do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return…. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

It was a humbling lesson.

Before we headed to his home, Phillip took us on a hike through the foothills off the road just to look around. We came upon a hut with a thatched roof, and an elderly woman came out to greet us. She was very thin, wore a white wrap around her head. Her old shirt and skirt were threadbare. She gave us the traditional greeting by clapping her hands in welcome, she bowed down and offered us water. We sat with her outside her home and after bringing water, she knelt before Phillip and asked him if we would be staying for dinner, or if we would need to stay for the night. She had no idea who we were and yet she was ready to offer what little food she had, and her home as shelter from the wild animals at nightfall. Phillip thanked her for her hospitality and let her know we would be moving on to his family’s home.

Give to everyone who begs from you; Do to others as you would have them do to you.

We were even more humbled by her generosity and hospitality.

When we did arrive at Phillip’s grandmother’s house, she had been grinding by hand a delicious stew of squash and peanuts which we at for dinner.

Life for Phillip, for his family, for the woman in the hut, and for most of the people we met on our trip, was not about acquiring ownership, and anxiously hanging on to it –it all was a gift from God to be shared. Life was about using whatever resources they had at their disposal to bring benefit and blessing to the most people possible.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.

On Sunday when we drove back to Harare guess what we did on the way home? We invited people to get in the car! We had a resource to share—and we found out on that trip, that it was not a car for 4, it was a car for 8! It was a beautiful way to learn that I do not own anything, only God does. And when I share what God has given me generously, it gives God a chance to give me more to share.

One of our members with whom I have spoken a lot about giving and this campaign said to me that whenever he gives generously God, God always gives back what he gave, and more! He looks at his accounts and the money has grown again to more than it was before! I call that a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap, for the measure you give, will be the measure you get back.

That’s what we celebrate today as we bring forward our pledges and prayers for our Moving Forward in Faith Campaign—that God is generous to us and through us, and because Jesus’ Spirit dwells in us, we can share generously with God’s mission as we look to the future. We all have something to offer the mission of Jesus Christ at St. Luke’s.

On a dusty African road, I learned that all that we have is a gift from God to be shared to bring benefit and blessing to the most people possible. And that’s what we do in this church where Spirits Come alive! So let’s join together in believing the foundation of Jesus Christ, belonging in unity for mission and growth, building God’s vision for our future! 

Image Attribution: JESUS MAFA, Cameroon. The Sermon on the Mount, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. https://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=48284 [retrieved February 21, 2022]. Original source: http://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr (contact page: https://www.librairie-emmanuel.fr/contact).

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Join the Party!

youth hands largeMessage for Epiphany 6 on Luke 6:17-26 on February 13, 2022 at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Richardson, Texas

We want a Jesus who is calm and soothing, a Jesus who only welcomes and never challenges, but that is rarely the Jesus we encounter in scripture. In the sermon we hear this morning, Jesus’s blessings and woes sound shocking, even judgmental and divisive. His words unsettle us, but they are not surprising if we have been paying attention.

Take his mother, for example. She has been singing lullabies about scattering the proud in the thoughts of their heart, bringing down the mighty from their thrones and lifting up the lowly since Jesus was in the womb. Mary spoke of filling the hungry with good things and sending the rich away empty. Mary, an unwed peasant girl, experiences the newness of God in her life and she sees a vision of life turned upside-down from the way things work.

Take the start of Jesus’s ministry: it does not begin at the Temple with the approval of religious leaders—it is at the river with a baptism by a wilderness prophet calling for repentance. The sky breaks open, the Spirit descends, and then – instead of a seminary education, Jesus is tested, hungry, lonely, and bereft. From the outset, Jesus’s ministry is all about the world being turned upside-down.

Take Jesus’ inaugural sermon in his hometown of Nazareth—he quotes Isaiah’s vision of good news to the poor, sight to the blind, the oppressed going free, and the year of jubilee. This vision celebrates all property being returned to its original owners and all debts forgiven! Everyone would be released from crushing poverty and properties and finances would be set back to a level starting place. Again, the world is turned upside-down.

The sermon we hear today is not so surprising then, although the setting tells us something new is happening. “Jesus came down to a level place.” How odd! Usually Jesus went up – he went up to pray, he went up to commune with God, he went up to preach. But in this sermon he came down to a level place in order to put everyone on a level playing field together. In the Kingdom of God the social world is flat—no hierarchy, no status, no gradations of power or privilege.

By coming down to a level place, Jesus also made himself accessible—so that people from all over—Jews and Gentiles, neighbors and foreigners, friends and enemies might approach him to be healed. Even those who engaged in exploitative economic policies toward Israel from up in Tyre and Sidon came down to see and hear and be healed by Jesus. Rich and poor, hungry and well-fed, laughing and weeping. Everyone wanted to be in Jesus’s presence. Everyone wanted to hear what he had to say. Everyone was ailing in one way or another, and all wanted to be healed.

Those who are especially needy—poor, hungry, sick, blind, crippled, leprous, feverish, and demon-possessed are starving for the upside-down world that Jesus embodies. Their need for God is clear—there are no illusions they can make it on their own. For them, life has never been a do-it-yourself project. They live with little pride, no false self-image, and no distractions about who they really are. Their life is a mess, they need healing. Without God’s help, they will not make it. Of this, they are clear!

Those aware of their needs press in to touch Jesus and receive the healing that emanates from his being in dynamic waves of power. For those at the bottom of life’s rung, Jesus’s healing, Jesus’s touch changes their status and their life almost instantly. Their lives flip like a mattress airing out in the sun. They go from cripple to dancer, from beggar to worker, from burden to provider, from outcast to in-crowd, from rejected to included, from weeping to laughing, from crushing isolation to beloved community.

For them, the floor has literally been raised and the field has been leveled.

• Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
• Good for you who are hungry now, for you will be filled.
• How respectable are you who weep now, for you will laugh.
• How enviable are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, on account of the Son of Man.
• Rejoice because you get it!
• Rejoice because you see it!
• Rejoice because you know that you need God…every second of your life.
• Before, the world battered and abused you, but now you live in the upside-down kingdom!
• Now you exist on a level playing field where everyone’s needs, and everyone’s status is equal before God.

These are the ones to whom Jesus’s blessings are spoken. But Jesus did not come simply for the poor and downtrodden, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that WHOSOVER believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life.

Jesus offers healing and ministers to all. The poor and the rich. While standing on the level place, Jesus also sees many who are rich and well-fed, those who are laughing and well-respected, who do not get it. They have come to rely on their own status, distracted by their worldly comforts, their pride, and what they can provide for themselves. While they may feel uncomfortable entering the shared spiritual experience on the level plain with those of lower means, a different class, race, status, and income, they also know that they, too, need Jesus.

Jesus’ word to the wealthy is not easy for them to hear, but his challenging words are healing for them as well. In his book, a Spirituality of Fundraising, Henri Nouwen writes, rich people are poor in other ways…many rich people are very lonely…they struggle with a sense of being used and suffer from feelings of rejection or depression.” Jesus sees their need and their reluctance to step out of the comfort and safeguards of their status, and he challenges them to consider the upside-down healing of the kingdom:

• But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation (don’t you get it that food doesn’t satisfy –that you cannot live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord?)
• Be careful you who are full now, for you will be hungry—your emptiness will remain if you stay distracted by wealth!
• This is a warning to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep when your loneliness is not satisfied by stuff!
• Watch out when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets—admiration is not the same as true community and love—come join the party of healing and wholeness –you’ll find joy and belovedness, and dancing in the Jesus’ community of the redeemed.
• Everyone over here is filled with love and new life!

A healing Jubilee is taking place where so many are being restored to wholeness and those who are well-off and well-fed are welcomed to have their souls made whole, their fears calmed, their relationships restored, their anxieties quelled, and their loneliness assuaged.

Jesus is both warning and inviting them to release their grip on the fleeting security of their social status and step forward to receive Jesus’ dynamic healing balm with the rainbow of humanity around them. Like the older brother of the prodigal son—they are invited to come and join the party where all are welcome, all is forgiven, and all can enter in! Don’t miss out! Join the Blessing party!

And some of them do! They are like Levi the tax collector turned disciple, and like Zacchaeus, who upon encountering Jesus, returned four times as much back to anyone he cheated. They see their resources as blessings from God and use them in service of God’s mission in the world. They encounter the newly healed from their own town and begin to network with who needs work, who needs to get in touch with the matchmaker, who needs a new stall at the market, and who needs help to see the priest to be declared clean.

Because that’s what happens when all these diverse people--Jews and Gentiles, neighbors and foreigners, friends and enemies, rich and poor, hungry and well-fed, laughing and weeping, come together for healing—for a shared experience of God’s presence in Jesus. Real community. Real healing. Differences do not divide, they energize for learning, sharing, building up, and growing together.

This is what it means to be the church—to live in the upside-down level playing field of God’s kingdom, coming together as a diverse a community, for shared experiences of God’s presence in Jesus, for that is where our healing takes place.

And in the shared experiences of Jesus’ presence in our lives, the barriers that might divide us be they status, culture, gender, race, politics or whatever—diminish until we can clearly see Jesus’ upside-down vision of the kingdom. The plain is flat, and we are all on the same level. From our shared experience of God’s love, the Spirit energizes us to share and grow and learn to be God’s people together and to invite more and more people in to share an experience of God’s presence with us in Jesus.

This is why we engage in a campaign to repair our building—not just so it looks nice, but so that we have a place to gather diverse people for shared experiences of God’s presence in Jesus. And when we experience healing here, we are equipped to carry it with us in our daily lives—treating everyone on this level plain and seeking ways to share an experience of God regardless of our differences.

So, who can you invite to the party this week? (we are literally having a party next Sunday for our 65th Anniversary, so invite som friends and neighbors!) For this is where healing takes place, this is where we are made whole. Join the party where all are welcome, all is forgiven, and all can enter in! Don’t miss out! Join the Blessing party!

Image SourceThanks to Avondale Pattillo UMC, Atlanta, GA

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The church does not have a mission in the world, God's mission has a church in the world.

 

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