Once again I’m stuck. I want to share with you so much. I want to let you know that God is with you. I want to let you know that you’re going to be OK; that God hasn’t brought you this far to drop you. I want you to know that I’m going to miss you just as you’ll miss Chris and I. But again, perhaps the most important thing I want you to know is what I’ve always wanted you to know: that God loves you.
Psalm 139: 1-18
God made you the way you are. I’m not talking about the stuff that you learned when you were growing up. I’m not talking about the baggage we end up carrying. I’m not talking about the scars we earn in the world that damage our health or our state of mind. I’m talking about the essential you. The you that doesn’t change. The you that is Straight or gay, Bi or Trans, Male or female, the genetic patterns that are the human that is you in the world. This God created, and for a reason.
Even before you were born your place was fashioned in God’s heart. There is a purpose to your life, a plan for you. Your job is to live as yourself in the world, rely on God for Grace and righteousness, and believe in Jesus as your Lord and savior.
And how do you believe in Jesus? You do the stupidest thing. You do the most idiotic thing. You do the thing that doesn’t make any sense. You choose to believe. Then, after choosing the most insane route you could imagine, believing that God’s son came to this world and died for us, a new world opens up.
It’s what you need to do as the church moves forward. You need to choose to believe that God is watching out for you. Choose to believe that the Holy Spirit is with you. Choose to believe that Christ is at the very center of all that you do. And then, mad as it sounds, God watches over you, the Holy Spirit becomes available to you, and you’ll find that Christ is at the very center of all that you do.
I remember walking through this church each week praying for God’s Blessing upon this place. I prayed for it to be filled with God’s love and God’s Light. I prayed for healing, for joy, and for Christ to be with us. And each and every Sunday when we’ve shown up for worship – so has God.
I will be praying for you constantly over the coming weeks and months. I will be praying that you remember that being church can be a messy business but that love covers a multitude of sins. I will be praying that you pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on you – because both of these statements are true. You are co-creators with God in this endeavor; it is a kind of dance that has steps in this world and steps in heaven. It is rooted in common sense and brought to life and perfected through your faith.
And I will be praying that you know Joy. That God’s blessings shower upon you and the work that you do. That the church continue to grow, and that you end up in the most fabulous building that Hagerstown has to offer. I will be praying that whenever you show up that so does God, and that Christ bless you with his presence. …. But, if you forget all of this simply remember the most important bit; That God loves you. And so do I.