St. Luke's United Methodist Church

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8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 a.m. - Traditional
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-August 22, 2019

Posted on August 22, 2019 at 11:10 am in ,.

Dear St. Lukers,

I write to you as Pastors Melissa and Jad and I sit in a district clergy meeting with ministry leaders from around the Central Florida area. Our District Superintendent, Bob Bushong, just shared a devotion about the relationship with the divine created in Genesis 1. He spoke about our longing to be in relationship with each other and our Creator and the obstacles we put in the midst of the relationship, our own lack of confidence, worthiness, pride. We began to sing the praise song “Reckless Love” by Cory Asbury as our prayer before coming to the Eucharist table.

This song had significant meaning in my life last year as I spent time on renewal leave. I was tired, angry, lost in many ways spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Every retreat I took, every seminar I went to, every service I worshipped at, in fact every time I turned on the radio in those eight weeks last summer, I found myself face to face with this song. I know it was my own father, but more importantly my Creator Parent God, father and mother singing these words, standing at the gate, calling to me, the daughter. These words are such an example of the justifying grace of Jesus Christ’s life, death, and resurrection which proved God’s reckless love for us.

Before I spoke a word, You were singing over me
You have been so, so good to me
Before I took a breath, You breathed Your life in me
You have been so, so kind to me

When I was Your foe, still Your love fought for me
You have been so, so good to me
When I felt no worth, 
You paid it all for me
You have been so, so kind to me

There’s no shadow You won’t light up
Mountain You won’t climb up Coming after me
There’s no wall You won’t kick down
Lie You won’t tear down Coming after me

 O, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God
O, it chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine
I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, 
You give Yourself away
O, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.

 We hope you have learned some new things, or remember some foundational things, of your faith as we have gone “Back to Grace School.” Maybe you’ve seen in a new way, why we chose Mary Poppins for our summer show, as a jumping off point to help us see grace with new eyes.

As a citizen of God’s Neighborhood, this grace not only builds and strengthens us as a disciple, but demands a response. This reckless love calls us to a disruptive change in how we live, relate, see, and interact with others. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit to reveal and build the Kingdom of God around us. Like Mary Poppins, we are called to help others see the wonder and mystery of God’s reckless love in every corner of where they live every day. This is the work of sanctifying grace.

This Sunday we go “Back to Grace School” to go deeper in our understanding and work of sanctification. Join me as I will be in all services sharing a word about grace to explain the “why” of this call toward sanctification.  Read again Luke 15 and the story of the prodigal son. Ask yourself in reflection what the two sons need to understand and do to react to the reckless love of the Father. What about you? What about us? And what difference does it all make? And if you’ve seen Mary Poppins, can you see why it’s so important? If you would like to go see the show again with new eyes, tickets are still available. But if you’ve already seen it, I invite you to read and share this review from the Orlando Sentinel and consider what this review has to do with grace.

Until then, be blessed and overwhelmed by the reckless love of God,

Jenn.

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