Skip to main content

Love Sends!


This week several folks from Oak Lawn went to West Dallas to read to school age children.  It’s a combined ministry of the Wesley-Rankin Center and Project Transformation.  Oak Lawners spent Monday and Tuesday morning reading and playing games with the children.  I went on Tuesday and there was a ton of us—so many that Dawn Kent and I could not even fit in the church van!  There were so many volunteers that I was not even picked to read the first hour, so I went to play with Playdough with the bigger kids.  Near the end of our time I sat with a 3rd grader and we read two books: a Charlie Brown book about Thanksgiving, and a Magic Schoolbus book about weather (rain, specifically—I prayed a little as I read!).  She and I alternated pages.  It was a holy moment, for sure!
Why do Christians every day, in places like West Dallas, Europe, Asia, and everywhere else the Church serves, do such things?  Because God’s Big Love is not meant for us alone.  It is meant to be shared throughout the world to every person.  Christianity is, at its core, a movement for the world.  Jesus sent the disciples out into the world over and over again.  God’s love is experienced, then shared.  It is not for us to keep to ourselves.  Jesus said to Peter three times: “Do you love me?”  Peter answered, three times: “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”  Jesus’ response: “Feed my sheep.  Tend my lambs.  Feed my sheep” (John 21).  Earlier in the Gospel of John Jesus said, “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (13:35). Love is evidence of a relationship with God.  We share that evidence in mission and service.  Why do we serve?  God’s Big Love came to us in Jesus.  We respond by sharing it with others.
I am proud to be a part of a community of faith that lives what it believes by reading to underserved kids, feeding and clothing the poor, supporting ministries around the world.  The Oak Lawn Church, through the United Methodist connection, is both reaching out in love to others, as well as giving our members and friends opportunities to live what we believe.  If you are looking for a place to put your faith into action through the Oak Lawn Church, please speak to Pastors Kerry, Gregg, or myself.  Or find some of our layfolk who are leading serving ministries.  You have experienced Christ’s love and grace.  Now turn yourself inside out and share that love!  I promise you will be blessed in it!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Famous Black Cat Band

This week my former high school band director, Mr Reinke, died. Mr Reinke is a legend in my hometown of Bay City. He was the leader of our Black Cat Band for many years. He was a fiery man, a perfectionist with extremely high standards. He was a gifted musician. He and I both played the trombone; one of us sounded like a goose being strangled. The other sounded like... well I can't think of a metaphor to properly describe Mr Reinke's horn. It was amazing. He would pull that thing out occasionally to show us how to properly play a part of a song and the sound was spellbinding. 
Mr Reinke was very innovative in his music selections. He had us playing the most random music, from popular stuff of the day by Michael Jackson to Also Sprach Zarathustra (popularly known as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey) to Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. This song in particular was a great choice-- it's amazing, complicated; however, this was the late 1980s. The song was originally released…

Grief Is a Powerful Thing

"So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the Gospel of God but also our own selves." 1 Thessalonians 2:8
My first couple of Sundays at Grace, early in July, a couple of different people asked me this question immediately before worship: "How are you feeling?" My response: "Terrified." This was met with sort of shocked looks, then afterward the same person would say something like, "See that was ok." I've always been nervous before preaching-- the ramped up nerves help me to focus on my task and give me energy. But this seemed stronger. On Saturday nights my first couple of months at Grace I would hear an inner critic saying, "You're not prepared." "You're going to bomb today." Most Sundays he was wrong. A couple of sermons did bomb, but that happens. I decided to seek out a spiritual director to help me discern what was going on with me. I knew it was internal, but couldn…

a response to gideons international

last sunday prosper united methodist church welcomed representatives of the gideons to share about their ministry. how many times have you stayed in a hotel or visited someone in the hospital and found a gideons Bible there? and while no one can argue that reading the Bible is a bad thing, or that distributing Bibles to others in native languages is inherently harmful, i would like to offer some thoughts on the practices of the gideons, as they were described at church.

1. bravo to the gideons for distributing 73 million Bibles last year. however, most of the Bibles they sent were tiny new testaments with psalms. i am a Christian, and i love the words of the new testament. but those words have their foundation in the old testament, and to remove thousands of years of traditions and stories of God's powerful love and acts of salvation diminishes the power of the whole Bible. we must never forget that the old testament (or "first" testament or "hebrew Bible"…