Pastor’s Corner: June 2018

I tried and tried to write something happy and uplifting. But every time I started writing, my thoughts turned to the overwhelming number of significant issues occurring in our country – and throughout the world. It truly can feel overwhelming. So I gave in.

Like some of you I’ve spoken to recently, I’m limiting my time in front of the TV and internet newsfeeds trying to gain emotional and spiritual space as well as some grounding. It’s been helpful. The quiet and the space invite the Presence of Christ in where I can begin to have a conversation with Jesus. The Jesus I experience in my daily life. The Jesus I experience in my times of prayer and reflection. The Jesus I encounter through the many voices in Scripture. That’s a lot of conversations. 

It’s through these Jesus conversations that I come to a place of clearer understanding. I don’t think we’re ever truly crystal clear on anything – life changes too quickly for that. But I can, and we can, come to an understanding that relates to our current day CONTEXT. 

So where is this all leading?  The Kin-dom of God is ultimately about LOVE! 

No matter which way you look at it or what passages of Scripture you use for your lens, the Kin-dom of God is about LOVE! As followers of Jesus the Christ we are called to profess, teach and live out LOVE. The 1980’s phrase, “What Would Jesus Do?” (WWJD) is still an excellent question. 

What would Jesus do about the immigrant crisis around the world and on our own border?

As Christians, we need to remember that Mary & Joseph with their child, Jesus, were refugees fleeing genocide in the region of the world in which they lived – all of Judea. No one stopped them at the Egyptian border. No one made them stay unsheltered in the desert sun. No one took Jesus away from His parents and locked Him in a building. There were no tests, no paperwork, no anything… They were welcomed in and offered Hospitality based on a code of ethics that crossed cultural and religious lines.  Ancient Hospitality Codes insisted that the sojourner and refugee be taken in and cared for – offered food and shelter and comfort. It was considered a punishable offense if you mistreated the “stranger among you.”

Jesus lived part of His childhood as an immigrant, a refugee. He knew what it was like to be the “stranger”.  Jesus knew the importance of hospitality. Jesus knew the importance of being listened to and supported through traumatic events.  He lived it. What Would Jesus Do? I strongly believe the Jesus who said, “Let the children come to me,” would never separate immigrant children from their parents?  NEVER. 

And neither should we.

The following hymn is sung to the Tune of O Sacred Head, Now Wounded – good choice by the lyricist, Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. 

God Grant Us Space & Clarity,
Rev. Chellie

 

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