From the Pastor March/April 2016

Lent is a time to reflect and a time to practice letting go.  This means letting go of things we love, just as Jesus had to let go of his friends, family, and the world he loved so dearly.  But it also means letting go of whatever might be holding us back or weighing us down and keeping us from being the people God calls us to be.  Maybe we need to let go of bad relationships or bad habits, maybe we need to let go of old ways of seeing the world, ways that blind us to the path of God.

 

I’ve preached a lot about looking at the world with new eyes, or at least refocused eyes.  I’m going to keep preaching about that and writing about that, because I think it is essential that we practice this skill.  There is goodness and opportunity all around us, if we only look for it.  In order to look for it, and to see it, we have to train our eyes.  Right now, I think we’re trained to look at what used to be, or what we lost, or what we wish we had.  We look at all the spaces and gaps and feel a sense of emptiness and loss.  We’re so trained to look for emptiness, that we see emptiness even in the midst of abundance.

 

I know the church has fewer members than it used to, but it has just as many opportunities to faithfully live out the gospel.  This church included.  We have fewer members than we used to, but we are still finding ways to live out the gospel.  It is gospel to share space with Divine Redeemer, it is gospel to share space with the First Church of Christ, Scientist, it is gospel to meet with our brothers and sisters from Oak Lawn, Hickory Hills, and Evergreen Park.  It is a proclamation of the gospel that looks different than it did forty years ago, but it is no less alive and faithful.  It may even be more faithful, because it is reaching beyond our comfort zone, and pushing us to grow in new ways.  It looks like the gospel to me.  It looks like abundance to me.

 

When I drive up to the church now, I see a buzz of activity.  I see three different faith communities sharing space and living out their faith in distinct ways, and I see the kingdom of God better for it.  Each of these communities had to die to old ways in order to be alive to this new life together.

 

Peace,

Matt

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