There is no question that our semi-arid region loves to be nourished with water. But 40 days and 40 nights of rain might present some additional concerns. For now, the grass is green and the summer months are at hand. God is renewing the earth! And the Lord is restoring our lives!
Some of you will remember from chemistry class that there are 118 elements listed on the periodic table. The first 98 occur naturally while others are still being dissected to fully discover the make-up of their atomic particles. They are a part of the gift of creation that classic writers spoke about as earth, water, fire, wind, and void. (Not to be confused with the fusion music of the real Earth, Wind & Fire! I know some of you remember!)
In creation, all things are made up of individual elements that come together in sequence, series and relationship to marvelously bring the beauty of life, breath and reality into being. Again, it is a gift of creation and we are the recipients of that gracious presentation. We breathe, we feel, we think, and we experience life from our own point of reference. When we come together in relationship…we begin to experience one another in unique ways and the gift is multiplied.
In many ways we could say that the church is also made up of different elements. The most obvious is the fact that we are created one relationship at a time and then multiplied and transformed to become the Body of Christ. From a biblical perspective we resonate with the Apostle Paul who said that we have a choice about what we become. We can become a ‘clanging gong’ that makes noise in the wind, or we can become a reflection of God by claiming our true identity that is made up of faith, hope, and love (I Corinthians 13).
When I look at our congregation I see people who are created out of faith, hope and love. I don’t see individuals who are the sum total of their atomic make up. I see the heart of God that reaches out, gathers us together, and shapes us like the hand of the potter caresses the clay. I see faith that is lived out in action. I see hope that gives us promise for the future. And I see love that links us to one another and sends us forth to serve the world.
The Scriptures say that the enduring elements include “faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love.” I not only believe that with all my heart, I am blessed to be witness the church in action as these three components of our journey are lived out through your lives every day. It is a wonderful gift.
I think about the incredible things that God is doing within the Body of Christ here in Parker right now. I look to our mission in the community with the Parker Task Force. I see people reading to children, caring for our seniors, and serving in remarkable ways right here at home. I see faith in action as the Feed My Starving Children team expends a huge effort with the promise that children around the world will have basic nutrition. I see a future that is filled with hope as the Tapestry team is launched and a new set of relationships begin to come together.
Faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love. Do you see it? Can you feel it? Are you a part of it? God is renewing the earth! The Lord is restoring lives! And we get to be a part of the ongoing blessing of creation!
God bless you all! I look forward to seeing you in worship and beyond!
Yours in Christ