Dearly Beloved, Grace and Peace to you. Yesterday was my first Sunday as pastor of my new church. I felt sort of like a foreigner, an interloper, a guest preacher. But their welcome was warm and deep, and I did not feel out of place or awkward. Just new. But even among all those strangers I was on this familiar ground: I knew I had been sent to be their pastor. So as I greeted people after worship I wondered what love will grow among us. I met each person with the thought, “This is someone whom I have been sent to serve.” The awareness of my purpose—to love and to serve—gave me a solid, familiar, reliable place to stand, even amidst to much that was new and disorienting.
Isn't that what I want for my whole life? It's easy to let people become fixtures instead of individuals as I hurry through life seeking my goals. But then I start to become a stranger in my own life. Instead, God invites me to approach every person I meet, not just these church members, with the purpose of being lovingly present. I can trust that they have a great story to tell, and to be eager to hear it. I can met everyone knowing that no matter how well I know them, I don't know everything; I don't know what's deeper, what's next. I can keep listening. I can relate to everyone as someone to be loved, as someone whom I have been sent to serve.
Let's try that today. Each person we encounter, we'll think, “Ah, yes. Here is a person I have been sent to serve.” Let's see if it makes a difference. Let me know.
Encounter, as the early fog of assumptions lifts, and each person becomes new before your eyes.
Deep Blessings, Pastor Steve
______________________ Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes Unfolding Light www.unfoldinglight.net