FROM THE PASTOR - Good Hope Lutheran Church

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May is a time that our rhythms of life begin to change. There much to be done in the fields, in the garden and in the yard. It’s a time of cherishing the outdoors and enjoying God’s creation. Hiking, camping, traveling begin. We love to watch the flowers and trees blossom and, of course, we are in high gear fighting the WEEDS!   As your life rhythms change, this is a good time for a spiritual inventory. St. Paul writes in II Corinthians 13:5 – “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless of course you fail the test. And I trust that you will discover we have not failed the test.” St. Paul is telling us to always be faithful; to follow Christ and live out Christ-like lives every single day.   So let’s put that into day to day action – Living like Christ means accepting of others. Those who look like us and those who look very different – All are children of God. Living like Christ means to live lives of mercy, generosity, kindness, truthfulness and love. Whether you are in church, or at Kroger, or at Baker’s or driving to Columbus, our call is to be like Christ.    Dr. James Childs, in his book, Ethics in the Community of Promise, recalls when he was a little boy in Sunday School. The Sunday School superintendent told the children that if they would close their eyes real tight as they prayed, they would see Jesus. Dr. Child’s notes, “It is only recently that I have admitted openly that I could never see Jesus. I thought for sure I was the only little boy in the whole Sunday School who could not.” He goes on to say, “But I have also thought since that time that if she had told us to look around us at each other, then all of us would have seen Jesus. In faith, Christ is alive in us and we are alive in Christ.”   Do you see Jesus? Look at the people around you – they are Christ. Each one of them, every person you encounter is the likeness of Christ. The man on death row, you may ask. Yes, he is a child of God. The woman screaming at her children in Walmart? Yes, she is a child of God. The person you go to visit at Heartland or Carlisle Place or Altercare? Yes, they are children of God. The drug dealer who is pushing Heroine or Morphine or Fentanyl? Yes, he/she is a child of God. The person on the other side of the “wall” in Mexico? Yes, she/he is a child of God.   Our faith calls us to radical love, radical acceptance, and a radical vision of the Gospel. Jesus says, “Love as I have loved you.”    Come this summer to worship God, to be fed at the table of grace and go out – loving fully and completely all whom you encounter.

   Blessings in these warm
      and beautiful days!       

                      Pastor Renee

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