Dear St. Lukers,
I am writing this from the quiet and beauty of the Sanctuary this morning. Candles are lit, windows are open showing busyness of the world around me, and an instrumental version of "10,000 Reasons" is playing.
"The sun comes up, it’s a new day dawning,
It’s time to sing Your song again.
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me,
Let me be singing when the evening comes.
Bless the Lord, oh my soul, worship Your holy name.
Sing like never before, oh my soul, I’ll worship Your holy name."
It’s a new day to begin with Love, God’s reckless and fully abandoned love. It’s all around us, poured out in a sun that rises and sets in sacred time we can measure, but we cannot produce.
Poured out in intricacies of a body that breathes on its own, souls created in God’s own image.
Reckless love poured out in the blessings of relationships of family and friends, those we kissed goodbye this morning or called on our way to work, who we will join later for cocktails and conversation tonight. Poured out in the purpose of our meaningful work and calls we will fulfill.
Reckless love poured out to give us 10,000 reasons and assurance that whatever may pass, whatever lies before us, we will have the capacity to Begin with Love overflowing in our spirits.
When we begin with Love each morning, stopping to breathe in God’s reckless love and bless the Lord with our gratitude, prayer and worship, we are filled up to Begin with Love with others. The discipline of using this first tool of Bridge Building provides us with the capacity and strength to pick up and use the next tool: Expand Your Circle.
Why did Jesus choose 12 disciples who were so different from one another to be his followers and begin his church? Why did God meet Cornelius, a roman guard official, in a dream and tell him to invite Peter, an apostle of Jesus disturbing the peace with preaching about the radical resurrection, to dinner? Why would God ask him to take such a risk? Why would God ask these two men to cross barriers or religion, race, economics and culture to have dinner with one another? Because to be bridge builders of the Kingdom of God, we must be intentional to let reckless love expand our circles beyond our sameness.
Tonight, I’ve been invited by Pastor Roderick Zak of Rejoice in the Lord Ministries, to be one of the faith leaders in Orlando for an Honest Conversation about Race. Please join us for this Zoom event at 6:00 p.m. as we participate in a dialogue around some deep questions about racial injustice, the Kingdom of God, and the role of the church and join in with your questions. Click here to register. You can also watch your Facebook newsfeed starting tomorrow for “Food for Thought on Racism,” a new 4-week video series that features St. Lukers sharing their experiences. Then worship with us online Sunday when we will be joined by Rev. Tom Berlin, author of our congregational study Reckless Love, as we explore the call of God to expand our circles.
I pray as you move through your day and the rest of your weekend, we find 10,000 more reasons to sing praise and gratitude to the Lord until Sunday comes and we do so together.
Grace and peace,
P.S. If you are not already in a St. Luke’s ministry group that is signed up for an online “Coffee and Conversation” listening post with clergy and leadership, I invite you to sign up for one of our open registrations. These conversations are opportunities to let leaders listen to your answers around five basic questions of connection, how we can support you during this time, and what is the voice of the church in some of your greatest concerns in the coming months. Click here to view available dates and times.