Jesus – “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” – Matthew 11:28-30
“Show up; love God; love one another: figure things out from there.” – Katherine Peiper
It has been my Monday morning tradition to share something from Sunday at church. Again, this week did not disappoint. Everything about worship with our church family is encouraging, uplifting, enthusiastic, and authentic.
John’s July 4th message – a heartfelt call for Christians to be constantly engaged in a “Lover’s quarrel” with their country – was well crafted, personal, and one of his best. Katherine’s natural enthusiasm spills over into everything she says and does. And Rebekah can’t even do the announcements without her passion for life, and faith, and this church taking over.
Katherine – our Director for Children, Youth, and Family Ministries – threw out a profound, pithy, extremely helpful sound-bite that nicely summarizes how we are invited to live together as a covenant community defined by our faith in Jesus.
Here it is, in a sentence. Then I will put it in bullets: “This is what God is saying,” Katherine said: “Show up; love me; love one another; figure things out from there.”
- Show up
- Love God
- Love one another
- Figure things out from there
Yes, that sounds oversimplified. But there are two good reasons for that. First, this was a children’s message. Then – critically important to understand – we tend to overcomplicate everything! But the Gospel, the Good News of Jesus, absolutely does not need us to do that.
I will repeat what I frequently insist in this space: “Communion, the Lord’s Supper, is not ours to police, to restrict, to limit in terms of access, or to use as a weapon against those with whom we disagree.”
Jesus said, “This bread represents MY body, broken for you; this wine represents MY blood, spilled because MY love knows no limitations. Take the bread and the cup in remembrance of me.”
We are invited – by Jesus – to make a spiritual, an emotional, a visceral connection to the powerful, forgiving, unifying story of his passion. The invitation comes from Jesus, and it cannot, it must not, be rescinded by people who – inexplicably – place themselves above the authority of Christ himself.
Come; be fed; be forgiven; be free.
Have an amazing, grace-saturated, week – DEREK