Back on May 4 (yes – the Fourth was with us!), the subject of our final confirmation class of the year was Jesus’ Resurrection. Mostly I talked at the students, as it is a difficult subject to have a dialogue about and whose truth we must accept as a matter of faith.
But one thing I hope that they heard is that we can encounter the risen Jesus anywhere, anytime. Where have you met up with Jesus recently?
For awhile now part of my morning discipline has been the Ignatian practice of “examen,” part of which is to reflect on where I saw God active and present the previous day. In pondering that this morning, immediately the remarkable work of our InReach ministry team came to mind. This is a group of Grace members who are deeply committed to caring for those in our congregation. And by the way if you are wondering about the benefits of church membership, rather than simply attending a church, this is certainly one of them! They will take care of you, too, in more ways than you can imagine.
We have had a few Grace folks out sick recently or recovering from hospital stays or surgeries. As soon as this news was shared, our InReach team leaped into action to provide home-cooked meals and other needs. I know how this feels, because this same group lavished waves of provisions on us when we arrive last June. We walked in, after our cross-country trip, to find enough staples and snacks stocking our refrigerator pantry to get us through several days. And more deliveries just kept showing up. We were overwhelmed by their kindness, and learned only later that this is the customary way that this group cares for our members.
A church family is not a closed group but an ever-expanding circle that is turned both inward to care for each other and also outward to care for the world. We have been blessed in recent months by visitors to Grace who are now talking about joining our church because they feel so comfortable and welcomed. I sense they have great potential to become active members—involved not only in our worship life but in other activities that we share together, as the hands, feet and body of Christ.
If you have friends who are seeking a deeper sense of belonging in the area, won’t you invite them to come to church with you and get to know us? Even as we continue to be concerned about the pandemic, we consider our space to be as safe as it could possibly be, with its great volume of airspace and good circulation. We’ll be opening doors as the weather warms, and look for news about outdoor worship opportunities and our summer picnics. If online worship is your preference, visit our web site to see the variety of opportunities to get connected with us in that way as well.
What I am saying is: While private prayer and devotion is important to the Christian life, get out there and mingle with the great company of saints who live, work, and worship in our community. I guarantee that, in them, you will meet the risen Christ, just as I have.