Connecting Beyond the Walls

Today’s word of hope comes from our own Rev. Brent Greene, interim minister of discipleship.

In recent weeks, social media and news outlets have reported numerous stories about home workouts, tips for great cooking, and advice on how to cut and dye one’s own hair. Some might even believe that everyone needs help from New York Stylist Mark Johnson. His cuts go for around $300!

It seems clear that many Americans feel as if they’re missing out on their daily routines and rituals that were part of the norm just a few weeks ago. Obviously, if you know me well or have seen me assist in worship online, you can testify that I haven’t worried too much about a cut or color job . A #1 blade all over is fine with me. Thank you very much. On the other hand, I could benefit from more online exercise tips and less cooking advice. Eat less… exercise more in 2020 should be my mantra.

One of today’s Reformed Common Lectionary passages reminds me of another ritual that so many of us yearn for but can’t experience because of social distancing requirements. The familiar passage comes from the Gospel of Luke.

12 Then Jesus said to the man who had invited him: When you give a dinner or a banquet, don’t invite your friends and family and relatives and rich neighbors. If you do, they will invite you in return, and you will be paid back. 13 When you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 They cannot pay you back. But God will bless you and reward you when his people rise from death.
Luke 14:12-14 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Sharing a meal with colleagues, relatives, and our beloved community is a tradition that many of us certainly yearn for but cannot experience during the 2020 pandemic. Like never before, I reflect on these words from the Gospel of Luke and I hope I will live out the teachings of Jesus now and in the future like never before. You would think that after fifty years of practice that maybe, just maybe, I might figure this living out the faith “thing” out.

Welcoming the stranger, making room at the table for the different and hurting should no longer be an ideal but a reality. First Friends, let us make room in our hearts. Let us share from our abundance when we know of needs. Let us do everything now and forevermore to help others just as Jesus did and proclaimed for his followers to do.

Our city, our nation, and our global community need us. Let us set our tables, prepare our favorite dishes, and open our lives to anyone and everyone who needs to feast on the healing, helping, loving nourishment that comes from the miraculous work of the church as called by Jesus Christ.











Let us serve and share as Jesus did. Christ has called us to do so. With Christ as our guide, we will. Amen.







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