St. Luke's United Methodist Church

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9:30 and 11:00 a.m. - Contemporary

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4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road
Orlando, FL 32819
407.876.4991

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Blog Post from Pastor Jenn-January 30, 2020

Posted on January 30, 2020 at 11:53 am in ,.

Dear St. Lukers,

I write this in the Newark airport waiting for my flight back to Orlando. I am headed back to begin our fifth round of Shalom Sessions. This 8-week study on diversity and inclusion, based on the book of Ruth, is one of my favorite things we do as a church to move us from acceptance into true old testament hospitality (you can still sign up to join us below).

I find myself in my favorite pastime of people watching. I am surrounded by people from all over waiting to come to the big city or fly to other parts of the nation or world. All around is a mosaic of God’s diverse people, different skin tones, languages, types of family and relationships, ages, all restless in their waiting. I am overwhelmed with the deep belief that each person in this room is known by God’s love, each hair on heads have been counted, each tear cried by one of these people is held in the Spirit’s bottle of love, each is called beloved. But I’m struck with the deep pain that we don’t all see one another through those loving eyes of Jesus.

In the background screens play news of the impeachment hearing, local shootings, earthquakes, and a deadly virus but here inside is a singular goal – everyone headed somewhere, going forward, headed to the next adventure where in another location there will be an entirely different community of siblings of our shared family. No matter how difficult the news in the world, people keep moving forward, interacting, depending, struggling, learning with one another. In our constant moving forward, I am struck that with every interaction with another person, when we seek to understand each other we understand more about ourselves as individuals, and about God.

Suddenly in my earbuds comes Carrie Underwood’s hit song “Love Wins”:

A stray bullet and a momma cries
Her baby won’t be coming home tonight
Sirens screaming down the avenue
Just another story on the evening news,

Politics and prejudice
How the hell it’d ever come to this?
When everybody’s gotta pick a side
It don’t matter if you’re wrong or right, no

And so it goes, but I hold onto hope and I won’t let go ’cause

I believe you and me are sisters and brothers
And I, I believe we’re made to be here for each other
And we’ll never fall if we walk hand in hand
Put a world that seems broken together again
Yeah I, I believe in the end love wins

 Sometimes it takes a lot of faith
To keep believing there will come a day
When the tears and the sadness, the pain and the hate
The struggle, this madness, will all fade away, yeah

 I, I believe you and me are sisters and brothers
And I, I believe we’re made to be here for each other
And we’ll never fall if we walk hand in hand
Put a world that seems broken together again
Yeah I, I believe in the end love wins

 Love is power, love is a smile
Love reaches out, love is the remedy
Love is the answer, love’s an open door
Love is the only thing worth fighting for

The past few weeks we have been looking at the word “Love” through the ways we use the word as a noun, adjective, verb, and adverb. But how does “Love” move from sentence structure to Love that wins? Sunday we move into defining Love through words of Jesus’ sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5. Read Matthew 5 throughout the next four weeks as your devotion. Jesus’ first eight verses are the preamble of our constitution as followers of Christ, the movement of true discipleship that shows the world what Love is. Join us on the mountain with Jesus, all who wish to hear, be sustained this week by Word, bread, and cup. In all of our going and moving this week, wherever we are headed, may we embody what Love is, and prove through our lives that God’s Love always wins.

Grace and Peace,

Jenn.

P.S. You can make a gift to support the United Methodist Committee on Relief in their efforts to respond to US and international disasters by clicking the button below.

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