This Sunday we celebrate the beginning of a new season and come together as a church community in joyous worship and a shared meal afterward on Celebration Sunday. You are invited to join us and be in the presence of God and with others from your church family. And, I encourage you to invite a neighbor or a friend to come with you to experience this over-the-top Sunday experience.
We have been talking this month on the theme of “Neighbors” and what it means for us when Jesus says, “love your neighbor as yourself.” It’s tall order in our modern world. In fact, we seem to live in a world where the definition of neighbor is narrowing, But Jesus asks us to see our neighbors differently and to share love in the way that God loves us. In his travels, Jesus meets a Samaritan woman who comes to draw water for her household, a necessary and daily chore. The story indicates this woman is a bit of an outsider. She comes to get water at noon, the hotter part of the day when no one else would be around. A fascinating conversation follows between her and Jesus. Their conversation reminds us that to love is to be interruptible–we are willing to take a break from the pressing work of the moment to respond to a person God sends.
Jesus meets someone who is thirsty for the “living water” that he can give, the gift of faith and a loving relationship with God that transcends this life. Jesus sees a person who has been made to feel “less than,” less than wanted, less than valuable, less than a child of God. Do you ever feel that way? Do you know someone who is treated this way or seems themselves as “less than?” It’s a terrible place to be. Sunday we worship God who wants us and values us. We are never outsiders with God and we celebrate the grace that invites us near to God and faith.
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“We invite you to join us on a shared journey of life and faith, open to all, regardless of age, ability, economics, color, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, politics, theology or anything else that might separate us from each other. Whoever you are and wherever you may be on your spiritual journey, you’re invited to walk with Christ in community with all of God’s children, and embrace the endless possibilities of God’s unconditional love.”