Minister's Message

MINISTER’S MESSAGE

 

As we turn our thoughts toward February, many of us begin to think about Valentine’s Day and how we can honor the special love of our lives. Our special love is important and should be honored, but as we think about love, perhaps what we really need to focus on are the words of Jesus found in Matthew 22:39: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 

 

For many of us our next-door neighbors are easy to love, or at least really like. Our neighbor, for example, has been very welcoming. After a couple of our recent snows, he has continued down the sidewalk with his snow blower to clear the snow on our sidewalks, and a couple of times, he has even cleared our driveway. Bob and I, particularly Bob, since he would have to clear the snow, are extremely grateful for these kind acts.

We have talked about ways to repay him for his generosity. But, my guess is that he is not helping recently transplanted southerners because he is expecting us to do something in return; rather, he is just being a good neighbor. 

 

These are the kinds of acts Jesus expects us to do for each our neighbors, and by neighbors, Jesus does not just mean the person who lives next door to us who is usually very much like us and easy to love. No, Jesus wants us to extent the same Christian love to all of our neighbors throughout the world: rich or poor, black or white, young or old, gay or straight. He wants us to reach out to all of God’s children to provide love and support. 

 

We must open our doors to the least of these giving comfort and support to those most in need.  In a recent sermon, I quoted Nathanael when he said, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" Yes, the best gift ever came out of Nazareth. We must realize that blessed children can come from anywhere. We open our hearts to receive Children of God who differ from us much as the Egyptians welcomed Mary and Joseph and a young baby over 2000 years ago. 

 

I felt called to the Church of the Covenant because of the welcoming nature of the congregation and because of the Church’s commitment to mission. I appreciate the love that continues to be shown to Bob and me and our children. Let’s work together not just during February, the month of love, but every day to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

 

In Christian Love,

 

                                Barb