It truly does feel like I was just writing my first newsletter, but here I am writing my last newsletter article to you as your interim pastor.
At the same time I am thinking about my sermon on The Beatitudes (Matthew 5: 1-12), and I read this from “Cost of Discipleship” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “The community of strangers find their comfort in the cross, they are comforted by being cast upon the place where the Comforter of Israel awaits them. Thus do they find their true home with their crucified Lord, both here and in eternity.” (p. 122)
The Lord of Life community welcomed me just a few short months ago and you were able to do so because of the cross. The cross of Christ is what brings us together! The cross is where poor and rich; weak and strong; male and female; white or black; straight or gay; American or not (and the list goes on and on) gather together and are made one…at the cross. At the cross our differing opinions are set aside, because it is here that we are reminded what is important – Jesus. Jesus gathered together a wee band of misfits to share God’s Word of reconciliation and peace – to bring strangers together. This was His mission then and it continues to be our mission now. When we share God’s Word, when we welcome Jesus – the stranger is welcome and a community is formed and we are all welcome into our true home.
As you welcomed me, I know you will welcome Pastor Paul! I can’t tell you how excited I am for him, for you all and for the continued and future ministry of Lord of Life. As Jesus said, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” (Mt. 25:35) There are many hungry and thirsty people in our midst and beyond our doors, let us all continue to welcome folks and continue to be a community of strangers that find our comfort in the in cross.
In peace and with gratitude,