PJ’s Page –
While weeding in our front yard the other day, I saw a bit of pink poking through the spent purple blossoms and green leaves of the lilac bush. Upon taking a closer look, I found a small, but beautiful rhodie in full bloom tucked behind the large lilac bush. The soft pink blossoms were so lovely, but entirely hidden away.
I was delighted by this surprise, that was entirely unexpected.
It made me think about the ways we hide what is beautiful in our own lives or about our own faith. Jesus calls it hiding your light under a bushel…(hide it under a bushel, no!)
As Lutherans, we are historically humble, which, when it comes to sharing our faith and shining our lights is not always a helpful thing. In these days, though, the dominant voices claiming to follow Christ are voices of judgment and exclusion. As Lutherans, we understand the Gospel to be the Good News of grace….unearned and entirely undeserved. THAT is news worth sharing!
As summer dawns, my encouragement for all of us is to get to know our neighbors and to engage them in conversation. Reach out to one another. I need to take my own advice, too! On my evening walk this week, rather than just smile and say Hi to those I encountered, I stopped, introduced myself and met Patty and Ahmed. Now, I did not have the chance, in that first encounter, to talk about grace, but I hope that I modeled hospitality. I also hope that Ahmed, who is Muslim, will know that I as a Christian value, welcome, and consider him a brother of the one God.
There is too much division in the world. Too much drawing lines in the sand. The Gospel calls for unity in love. The Gospel calls for care for the poor. The Gospel calls for us to love our neighbor. We can’t love them unless we know them.
Beloved community, don’t hide your bright lights under a bushel or behind a lilac bush. Bloom with all of your beauty and brightness! Let your lights shine so that your works are known and glory is given to God!
I wish you a summer full of delightful surprises (see elsewhere in the Messenger for information about summer at LMLC).
In the love of Christ,