A Love Affair on Sunday Mornings

It began just a few weeks ago. Intermittently they appear together because of his schedule. All are watching with amusement and charmed hearts.

He is many years her senior, but they don’t seem to notice. Just the rest of us.

This past Sunday was one of the best to date. As he moved throughout the building, there she was. Right on his heels in her red sweater and beautiful spring dress painted with red poppies and light green leaves on a white background. She even wore matching shoes–red patent leather.

You could almost hear the chuckles being held behind hands as those of us waiting for the service to begin observed this unlikely love affair.

Fairly soon, her mother appeared on the scene as she was assisting our youth pastor in leading worship. He is the object of her four-year old daughter’s affections of late. Yes, there were tears and frustration on the part of the little girl, but no evidence of frustration or impatience ever showed on our youth pastor’s face or in his demeanor. It was as if this love affair is ordained by God.

And that got me to thinking: Isn’t this what my love affair with God should look like?

A two-sided coin that holds His unconditional love on one side and my child-like acceptance of trust and faith in Him to love and care for me as He has promised.

And do I always do that?

Often I’m not found holding up my part of the relationship or bargain.

God gave up so much for me. I should do better.

But I’m no longer a child like my little friend.

I’m an adult and to respond in kind to God as a child would likely be frowned upon by fellow church members. Might they think I’d lost my mind?

Whom should I please? My fellow church members, my neighbors, my friends?

My little friend has reminded me it is my God whom I should please with fierce abandon and commitment.

We are told in Matthew 18:3 (NIV):

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like
little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

For Reflection: Where are you in your relationship with God? Are you filled with child-like love, trust and faith? With child-like wonder at the awesomeness of His gifts to you? Will you share your feelings with us?

 

Remembering Along the Way

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, a time for reflection on Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. Palm Sunday also marks the beginning of Holy Week and the last days of the Lenten Season.

During Lent, our congregation celebrates the Last Supper or Communion every Sunday. Our usual tradition is to partake of Communion the second Sunday of each month. Some traditions practice Communion every Sunday all year, others once a month, some every other month. There are as many and varied ways of honoring this symbolic sharing of Christ’s Last Supper as there are denominations and modes of faith practices.

For me, the most important part of Communion is the remembering …

remembering why God gave His only Son in this way

… remembering why Christ died on the cross and shed His blood

… remembering why we symbolically partake of Christ’s body and blood

… remembering what I am giving in exchange for the life I have been given

… remembering I am to spread His Word abroad

and I am hopeful you can add to this list.

It was not for nothing that God chose to give up His only Son. God was giving us the gift of forgiveness and eternal life through His Son’s death and resurrection. Truthfully, I have only one child, a son, and despite how often he irritates me, I cannot imagine giving him up and watching him die.

It was not for nothing that Christ died on the cross shedding His blood for you and me. His precious blood was shed for the forgiveness of our sins and the gift of eternal life in Him as long as we confess our sins and walk with Him.

It is not for nothing that we symbolically partake of Christ’s body and blood. In 1 Corinthians 11:23-25 (CEB), Paul relates the Last Supper with Jesus’ disciples:

… He took some bread in his hands. Then after he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Eat this and remember me.”

After the meal, Jesus took a cup of wine in his hands and said, “This is my blood, and with it God makes his new agreement with you. Drink this and remember me.”

We partake because Jesus instructed us to do so to remember Him.

And what am I giving in exchange for this life I have been given? I am to give myself wholly to a walk of Christian faith, to witness and live so that others may see Jesus in me.

And am I spreading His Word abroad? I try, I honestly try. Wherever I go, I want to let others know I believe, that I am a Christian, and so I carefully think about my words and my actions wanting to show the best He has given me. Abroad is a hard one to manage living as I do in the U.S. and rarely travelling outside the state of Oregon. But with this blog and in connecting with others, I do pray it happens.

Most importantly out of all these things, I believe it is the instruction to “remember me” that we are called to bear witness to.

Required to remember so many things in this busy world–business appointments, doctors’ appointments, kids’ after school activities, where to be when, where you put your keys or cell phone and more–we often forget to remember Him in the middle of our daily activities. But it is what we are to do.

Remembering the path he walked … and why.

And as we approach this holy time near the end of Lent, are you remembering? Are you able to add to my list above? Are you remembering?