One day while waiting for preschool chapel to begin, I noticed a 3-year-old boy enter the sanctuary with his mom. Visibly upset that she would soon leave him, he clung to her leg and wailed. One of the other 3-year-olds, who had already taken his seat near the front, whipped his head around to see what the commotion was about. He immediately recognized the young boy who was crying and shouted, "Hey, he's my friend." He left his seat and went over to his distraught classmate and said, "David, come and sit with me." After a moment David's hands relaxed and he joined hands with his friend making his way to the front row. In that moment, I recognized how early in life Jesus begins to use us to bring welcome and healing to the world. I hope always to have eyes to see that happen.
The Voice. It's interesting to recognize how the gift of sight sometimes becomes the burden of judgment when we quickly form an opinion about people by their appearance.
Are you kidding? Me? Really?
I've found myself—by mistake—in the men's restroom of a high-end restaurant. Not only did I find myself in the bathroom, but also met some nice men who smiled broadly at me. Actually, not only once, I've done this three times.
The promise and message of Jesus' unconditional love and presence is the foundation of my life. I rely on it when life gets messy and dark and I can't find my way. I rejoice in it when I am surprised by how much better life is when I realize I'm not in charge of the world. Looking for Christ's presence in the eyes, actions, and hearts of others keeps me on my toes and reminds me that God's presence is real and life changing.
After two decades of service at Messiah, I am still continually amazed at this congregation's generous and welcoming spirit. Members of Messiah are strong in faith and willing to take risks to further the good news of the Gospel in unconventional ways. Messiah's DNA is joyful and contagious. Everyone should experience it.