My brothers and sisters –
In worship this past Sunday, we talked about Ordinary Time, that period in the church year between Epiphany and the beginning of Lent. During this time, the lectionary focuses on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and in worship we read the passages on either side of the Beatitudes: the calling of the first disciples and statements about already being salt and light. My concluding sentence was “In these ordinary and no-so-ordinary times, let’s be extraordinary!
One of the books that I highly recommend to you is Richard Stern’s The Hole in Our Gospel. Although written in 2009, the message of Stern’s book (he is the President of World Vision) is perhaps even more important today. Among many quotes and proverbs, he uses this anonymous quote to talk about ‘calling’: “God does not call the equipped; [God] equips the called.” There were no restrictions on Jesus call either. “Follow me.” Just that.
One of our callings is to support one another in prayer. Here are some of the petitions from Sunday’s service:
- Jackie’s friend Arlis continues a rough road with much pain, complicated by her inability to take pain medication.
- A new baby boy, Gavin, joined the Johnson household one month early and is doing well. Our own Foster and Taylor families are part of Gavin’s extended family.
- Marilyn M. is making incremental positive progress in her recovery from back surgery, but healing none the less.
- We rejoice for the families who are being reunited following blockage of the temporary travel ban on seven Muslim majority countries, and pray for justice in the upcoming court process. Brooke posed a question about whether it is time for us to become Muslim in support of our Muslim brothers and sisters.
- It was good to have Joan and Kim with us in worship. Joan grew up in the UBC community.
I pray that you all have opportunities to be salt and light during this week, and and be equipped with the resources you need to proclaim a message of peace, courage and hope.