Imagine fun, kids, food, country western music, and almost 200 people. Then you can see the community picnic held at Palmyra First UMC yesterday. I wanted to see us invite the neighbors and welcome people in the spirit and way of Jesus. I think we may have done that, but I'd love to hear what you thought.
What I know is we did some things to work at being more welcoming: we dropped "Church" from the picnic name; we dropped off invitations to 160 of our neighbors; we chose a picnic theme that we thought everyone could enjoy--western; we aimed for quality with the horse rides, games, food and live square dance caller; we gave some rides, we took time for genuine conversations, we worked at the whole thing with a spirit of love and fun.
What I know is that we haven't had this many people at a picnic in years, and we had a blast.
I know that following Jesus is an amazing journey. This week that looked like a picnic.
10Q10Q -- faith, life, rethinking church, following Jesus...stuff
Monday, September 20, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
I think Jesus' way was one of patient engagement, listening and valuing the person. I've seen Jesus stand up to wrong or injustice without dismissing a people, a belief or a life with loveless rhetoric. I've heard Jesus say that I will be known by my love.
I know I too am challenged to act with love when what I love is challenged. I know I need to dig deep within myself, to beyond myself to creatively respond with love in difficult situations. I know I'm still learning and want others to deal graciously with me when I display my own aggressions, or bigotries, or love-starved moments.
My God, the one I follow in Jesus, is big enough to love all people, of all beliefs, in all circumstances, while working patiently to bring us to that holy place of peace. That's the place I'm following Jesus toward, in, for.
But, I may have missed something. What do you think? How do you follow Jesus, especially with your Extra Grace Required people? How do you follow Jesus' way of love with the person you avoid in the grocery story by consciously picking a different aisle? How do you follow Jesus' path of peace with those that seem just plain wrong to you? I want to know so I can follow Jesus more attentively, reflectively...lovingly and joyfully.