Are you ready?

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It was January 27th that I received word that the Bishop and Cabinet wanted me to take my “talents to South (Ocean City) Beach”. ( an obvious LeBron James reference), really it was the day I was told that St. Peter’s in Ocean City would be my new appointment as there was a need for me to go there they felt. The last several months has been a series of goodbyes, hellos, and anticipation. It is now just a few short days away and it officially starts and I keep asking myself the same question, “are you ready?”

Some days the answer seems clearer than others but the reality is that I am ready. I am ready because though every moment of this journey I have simply trusted that the Holy Spirit was active. There is no other explanation for any of this than to simply have faith in what God is up to in our lives.

I am also ready because I know that no matter where I am that God has allowed me to find a way to deliver the same timeless message and that message is found in the Gospel of Matthew. In the 22nd chapter Jesus is being challenged and we find this exchange starting in verse 36,

 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

That is it! It is simple and it is beautiful. However, don’t make a mistake Jesus is not telling the Pharisees, Sadducees, or us anything new in these verses. In fact, he is simply putting together two pieces of the scripture, one from the book of Deuteronomy and one from Leviticus. This timeless statement from Jesus is the marching orders I come to St. Peter’s with in my heart. We are called to love God and love each other.

In Glassboro, we came up with this idea that we called the C.L.O.W.N. Squad. The acronym clown stands for Creatively Loving Our Wonderful Neighbors. We rallied around this idea because we know that it is the essential piece to be a follower of Jesus Christ.

I am so excited to share with you some of the foundational pieces of the C.L.O.W.N. Squad but that will wait. I just want you to know it is one way for us to be the hands and feet and voice of Jesus for the community and the world. I can’t wait to get started, I am ready…are you?

 

 

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Measure Twice…Cut Once

A friend asked me the other day why we used “the Rent song” at church on my last Sunday in Glassboro. I simply had to smile because there was no easy answer to that question. I am unabashedly a musical fan and that song from Rent has been one of my favorites since the first time that I have heard it sung. Add to that the powerful lyrics and the answer becomes a simple, “how could we not use the song?” Preparing to end one chapter of ministry and begin another has had me asking myself time and time again. “How do you measure – measure a year?”

I have been measuring it by thinking of the smiles on young children’s faces as they receive Christmas gifts or find a hidden Easter egg. I measure it in costumed children and adults invading the church parking lot for trunk or treat. I measure it with the look on a teacher’s face as we provide a piece of equipment that the school district was unable to give them. I measure it with the sounds of babies filling the sanctuary in the contemporary worship service. I measure it in tears that I have shed in the time of transition that Ginny and I have been going through.  I measure it in laughs we have shared with friends in gatherings over the last few months. I measure it in lives transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit in our midst. 

Now as I sit in a coffee shop in Ocean City, the question needs answering once again. How will I measure this time? What will be the measuring stick used as I look at this time. I think once again it will be about a transformed community and radically changed lives. So each day becomes a chance to share love and show love. Each moment becomes an opportunity to show the world what Jesus means to me. Each minute is a chance to enjoy all that God has provided and to help others find ways to do the same thing. 

I can’t wait to get started!