Hope all of you are doing well! I look forward to getting to see you this week. We are back on our regular schedule this week:
Worship Tonight @ 6:30pm at Wesley
Thursday night free meal & program @ 6:30pm at Wesley
Wednesday @ 1:30pm
Thursday @ 3pm
We begin a new series of messages tonight based on Ephesians 6, being clothed in the armor of God. Come and experience God’s grace in giving you everything you need to meet the challenges of your everyday life. And Thursday we will experience “Spontaneous Melodrama.” I am so excited! It’s going to be great!
Now For Sami’s Ramblings About Jesus:
Last night after giving baths my boys and I sat down to color. I told them that if they were good while they took their baths I would teach them how to draw butterflies. We had great fun, and I re-discovered a part of me that has been neglected for awhile: the artist inside. I like making things. I like to draw and color. I like to sew. I like to give expression to the pictures I see in my head, and then see them take shape as something pretty to hold in my hands. I love seeing that vision come to life.
I think this is how God is, the One who spoke all of creation into being. One of my very favorite scriptures is from Psalm 139:
For it was you who formed my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth (vs 13-15).
I can imagine God at the beginning of every life, watching it unfold, working through the process of growth even while a child is in its momma’s belly, choosing how the genes will fit together and express themselves, shaping and forming every part, seeing the totality of the life within His grasp, present and future, personality and body, spirit and mind, all coming together as a tangible expression of His creative love. How cool is it that God is intimately and intricately involved in every part of our coming to life? I can’t imagine God looking at any human being alive without a deep sense of joy and longing; joy because the vision of that person has become tangible, longing because each one of us has free will and may or may not choose to be in relationship with the One who made us. Of course He longs for us.
I can’t help thinking about this creative labor of love that God gives whenever I reflect on the visitor who stood on the steps of DUC last week. I’m not quite sure I can name his purpose for being there. I suppose he felt called to expose and name the sin that enfolds many college campuses. He argued forcefully with many who stopped to listen to his rampage, having their comments rebuffed with his determinations about their spiritual status. Many came away feeling condemned by this man. I hope and pray they didn’t come away feeling condemned by God. “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him” (John 3:17). I just feel in my heart that this man did not communicate the longing that God feels in His heart for His children who are not connected to Him, whose lives are somehow missing the fulfillment, the fullness, that He wanted to bring forth when He created them in the first place. I just know that when God looks at us, He sees His labor of love. Certainly it pains Him to see us living in brokenness and sin. But He also understands why we are broken, how we got that way, and especially the tender mercy of Jesus Christ that heals us so that we can choose well, so that we can choose Him. Jesus took all that condemnation to the cross so we would bear it no more. It is His gift to us. He has removed everything from us that could separate us from the God who created us. When God looks at each one of us He sees the child He made and loves. And even before we see it ourselves, He sees the magnificent being, mature and complete, that He created us to be.
Thursday night after experiencing an amazing day of sharing God’s love through warm fuzzies (200 feet down from the guy with fuzzy purposes) and an amazing night of prayer, I had a dream. In my dream people were lining up to receive a revelation from God, but the person sharing it said they must be spanked to learn a lesson in submission. As I stood looking at these persons standing in line to be beaten, something within me broke and began to say passionately to the pastor, “You can’t do this! You don’t understand, these persons have been abused!” I knew that they would connect the abuse of their past to this “lesson in submission.” I knew it had to be stopped. That’s all I remember from that dream, but it’s message is clear. Coming to know the God who made you is not a fearful and degrading thing; it is a joyful and life-giving thing. God does not sanction any abuse, including religious: “They shall not hurt or destroy on all my holy mountain, says the Lord” (Isaiah 65:25). Even His judgment is filled with love, always wanting to redeem and fulfill that initial creative impulse that made your birth His tangible expression of Divine Love.
So I don’t care if your life is filled with sin, you are still beautiful to me because you are a child of God. Where I see you hurting I hurt. Where poor judgments keep your heart and life broken, I weep for and with you. But God’s Love always sees you through the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. When God looks at you He sees the Love that gave you life in the first place, and the promise and possibility of Christ’s love fulfilling that life within you. You are precious to me and especially to Him.
This is me hoping,
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