“In our world, where many journey alone,
God, by his gracious choosing in Christ,
gathers a new community—
those who by God’s gift put their trust in Christ.”
Our World Belongs to God, par. 34
How do we respond when we are fed? How do we respond when we realize that after a long night of struggle, Jesus has been right there, ready and waiting for us, to give us what we need?
As Easter people, it is our one task, to point to the presence and work of Christ in the world every chance we get. To exclaim “it is the Lord” every chance we get.
As people, “restored in Christ’s presence, shaped by his life, this new community lives out the ongoing story of God’s reconciling love, announces the new creation, and works for a world of justice and peace” (Our World Belongs to God, par 39).
Throughout these next few weeks, we want to invite you to share your “it is the Lord” stories. Big and small. Together let’s pay attention to God at work in our lives, our community, and our world. To do this, we need to share these stories. The disciples exclaimed to one another “it is the Lord”. In the same way we are invited to do that together because it is in our witness that Jesus is revealed. Whether you share it with a friend, a family member, or your small group – let's talk about the Lord. We also want to invite you to share your “it is the Lord” stories publicly with this community, so we invite you to share your story with one of your pastors. You can pick up the phone and call us, or send us an email telling us how you have seen the Lord that day. We hope to collect these stories each week into a blog post, and even share some of them in our worship services during the stories and prayers of the people. You can share them anonymously or not, whatever you’re comfortable with. You could even record a video message that we could share!
Here are a couple we’ve already received:
“Christ speaks of the kingdom/reign of God advancing with vigor. Well, we also know God works through, (or sometimes due to Christians lagging, also uses) the weak of this world. So, ok, sometimes it may not seem so strong or vigorous, but even when not so many others show up, God does, and God stands with those marginalized by the dominant culture, or by the dominating. God is a God of weakness, of the weak.
So, this past week there was a seeming small but fun victory against voter suppression. But I have some new friends in Atlanta, some family, and certainly regard for the oppressed. So when on the day after April Fools, Major League Baseball cancelled plans to host the summer All-Star Game in Atlanta over the league's objections to sweeping, suppressive changes to Georgia voting laws, I had to smile, laugh, and surely see “It is the Lord” in this. 1) Might the owners also be feeling the pressure of players? 2) Might owners have some difficulty relocating the game somewhere else, given that 43 states are now ramping up forms of voter suppression legislation (over 250 pieces of legislation!), plus federally? 1) yes, 2) perhaps, but unquestionably this is God’s upside-downing “kingdom” breaking through, one of the many signs during this past year of the Spirit’s moving mightily to stir people’s hearts and minds. God gives us a merciful mix of encouragement and challenge.
Strike one, of many. Sometimes strikingly visible signs, sometimes seeming faltering, toddling, broken, God’s Reign of justice and peace will come fully, some in our lifetime, some later.” - Gus P
“I want to name Lent 2021 as a beautiful “It is the Lord!” story. The Reaching Out plan to place stations of the cross in the parking lot grew into a transforming, 3 rhythms journey. Gifts of Holy Spirit inspiration and Holy Spirit practicality kept appearing along the way! All the engineering skill, word-smithing, social media, dramatic readings, music, visuals, art and even angel-food cake appeared when needed. In the middle of the wilderness of Covid, it was really wonderful to “throw our net on the other side” and “catch” God’s abundance in each other and in God’s word.” - Wilma V
We look forward to hearing more stories over the next several weeks. They can be anything from a written sentence or two, or a couple of paragraphs, or a video recording! Please feel free to share them with either Wilma, Gerard, Sarah, Jennifer, or Natasha and we look forward to including them in the weekly blog post or on Sunday morning.