Welcoming All, Serving All
Sunday was a wonderful day at Lowhill. In our worship hour, we welcomed new and old friends, received a new member into the church, and presented the Autism Society of the Lehigh Valley with a check for $4987 for their vital work in our community! We also enjoyed a fantastic luncheon following the service where we got to share great food, great fellowship, and relive some of the highlights of our 2018 Lowhill Lights of Wonder shows.
The Big Picture
I feel like this past Sunday was in many ways an expression of our church doing its mission. In many ways, it was a microcosm of what we’re always supposed to be doing. I also think it was a taste of the things that are to come if we faithfully care for each other and for all God brings our way.
Last night, I was reading a book in the Wonder series by RJ Palacio. It’s the story of Auggie Pullman, a boy born with noticeable physical differences from most other children. Having home-schooled Auggie due to his condition, Auggie’s mother decides for a variety of reasons to enroll her son in an outside school to start 5th grade. The principal at the new school wants to make sure Auggie is welcomed and treated well, and picks a group of students to be “welcoming friends.” He tells the children that as we get older, situations will arise in our lives that we won’t immediately know how to respond to. When in doubt, he says, choose kindness.
Changing the Default Setting of Our Heart
This is not a bad way to think. As people seeking the presence of God in our lives, our default setting should be one of welcoming and of kindness. Sometimes, that seems to come naturally. Other times, it doesn’t. Either way, I think it’s fair to say we have to choose it. We have to choose to see the kind actions of welcome, encouragement, and affirmation through. If the principal in the story were speaking to a church, I think he’d also say that part of the Christian journey is training ourselves to make these choices our natural disposition, and that that comes through a process of many choices along the way. He’d say that Christians believe that the Holy Spirit is ready, willing, able, and excited to help us in that work. He’d remind us of all those parables where Jesus talks about our life of faith as a seed that needs to be nurtured. It’s not just a matter of believing certain things or serving in certain roles or observing certain rituals or holidays or practices. Jesus is always talking about letting God redirect our own tendencies, letting God remake those rough parts of our nature, about welcoming the Holy Spirit into that work in conscious ways.
Seeing and Being God’s Daily Bread
I was trying to find the exact quote from the book about Auggie to share here, and so I did a google search. One of the things that came up was a talk by a music professor from Agustana University that I think is especially fitting given that we have just together celebrated the Lord’s Supper and the breaking of bread.
It’s not a very long text, so please take a few moments to read it. And the end, there’s a video of the speaker playing a beautiful piece on the piano.
blessings, blessings, blessings,