“No small things are what kingdom work is all about. God has this way of taking things that don’t look like much – a mustard seed, sinners, daily comings and goings – and turning them into sources of life.“
Hello Gloria Dei,
This last Wednesday, I got to spend some time in the new member class; as a new member, it was fun, impressive, and humbling to hear about the many things happening in and through Gloria Dei. Did you know that we sponsor a school in Haiti and that, because of our sponsorship, the school is growing and adding on classrooms? More classrooms means more children receiving an education. We know the impact an education makes for a young person; how amazing is it to think about that impact being even more! In the Gospel of Matthew, which is where we are at in our Fully Engaged year of reading through the New Testament, Jesus talks about the kingdom of God being like a mustard seed, the tiniest of all the seeds, that grows into a large bush, and provides shelter not just to one bird but multiple birds. When the Holy Spirit gets God’s people to share a little bit and it turns into something larger than we imagined, maybe we shouldn’t be surprised. It’s just how the kingdom of God works!
Here are some other things that I found out about Gloria Dei at my new member class: one, everyone should go to confirmation just to hear Pastor Sarah teach. Really. Two, don’t be fooled by Pastor Chris’s calm demeanor; he has a great sense of humor and a way of getting us out the doors and into the community and world, whether you thought you wanted to or not. How refreshing to focus not on my needs for a moment and focus on the needs of my neighbor! And watch out for the Congregational Care team: Pastor Amy and Jessica Kruse, Faith Community Nurse, are a force that has the care of your body, mind, and spirit in the forefront of all that they do. With about 4,000 of us to think about, that task is no small thing.
No small things are what kingdom work is all about. God has this way of taking things that don’t look like much – a mustard seed, sinners, daily comings and goings – and turning them into sources of life. Because the work of God is so often hidden in these things that look like nothing, we come to church so that we can hear, again, how God is up to something. Something that includes forgiving sinners, making them new, and sending them into the world with new life that cannot help but spill over and do good for their neighbors. Mustard seeds.
This weekend in our worship services, through the gifts of our very fine musicians, the music of Les Miserables will remind us that the message of grace is the kind of thing that is not contained only in church but is also held in some of our most powerful cultural works. Music has this way of drawing us in; expect to be drawn in this weekend. I’ll see you there.
In the meantime, Gather, Grow, Give, and GO,
P.S. Come this Wednesday to find out more about Gloria Dei’s work in Haiti with a Taste of Haiti event. There will be Haitian food, activities, and information. Hope to see you there!