This Sunday, as we gather at the Lord’s Table, we will consecrate the bread and the cup as we prepare for communion. The bread will come from grain that was grown, tended, harvested, prepared and baked to become one loaf. The cup will contain the juice of many grapes, gathered together, pressed and squeezed into the unfermented juice that represents the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are similar. We come, each of us, bearing the distinctive imprint of God within us, our own unique mix of DNA, life’s experience, talents, abilities and spiritual gifts. Our perspectives may vary, our backgrounds are diverse, but we will pray over the bread and cup saying to God, “by your Spirit, make us one with Christ, one with each other, one in ministry to all the world.”

To be “one with each other,” as John Wesley reminds us, is not to be of my opinion. It is fundamentally about loving each other. It’s the new commandment Jesus gave the disciples and us, to love one another, as I have loved you. Here is a distinguishing feature of the Christian faith. Yet To love each other requires God’s help, to love when there are strong differences of opinion, when mistakes have occurred, when feelings are hurt, when misunderstandings arise, when change is underway. Certainly these happen in our church, as in every congregation.

 

This past week, we shared the news about Pastor Eve Williams’ move to Las Vegas, which was difficult and unexpected news to receive. We will surround Eve with and her family with our great love and prayers as God continues to work in her life. We will share an update in worship on the process that resulted in Pastor Eve’s move. Sunday, we worship the God who first loved us and gives us an abundance of love that overflows our hearts, to be shared with each other.

 

Dave Summers
Senior Pastor, Paradise Valley United Methodist Church
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