Sermon – March 15, 2015
The Rev. Rebecca S. Myers, CSW
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Corbin, KY
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. John 3:16
Please be seated.
Last week the Vestry adopted a Mission statement: Proclaiming the Gospel, promoting justice, and preparing a diverse community of seekers to reflect the welcoming love of Christ. At the meeting we also discussed what 3-5 goals we want to work on this year to make this statement not just words, but reality. Between now and the April 12 Vestry meeting, we’re asking you to think about this.
As I reflected upon the Gospel for today, I was reminded of part of our Mission statement…. “reflect the welcoming love of Christ.” Whenever I think about my experience of being welcomed, I think of my grandson. Yes, it’s a danger to have a grandmother in the pulpit!
Logan is my first grandchild. For nearly the first year of his life, I lived about 20 minutes away from him. Needless to say, I visited frequently. At one point, I developed a pattern of going every Sunday afternoon, taking my laundry with me. I’d play with Logan and do my laundry, while my son and daughter-in-law went grocery shopping or had a little break. Often Logan’s parents would arrive home to find me holding Logan on my shoulder and both of us sound asleep taking a wonderful afternoon nap.
But eventually I moved to Washington, DC, and visited about once every 5 weeks. Now, I got to stay at Logan’s house. Again, we developed our routines. I’d usually arrive on Friday evening in time to read Logan a story and put him to bed and then on Saturday morning, I’d get up when he was awake and we’d play and I’d fix breakfast for him.
When Logan was about two, he had his own mini chair – an Elmo chair. I’d call my son as I was leaving my home to let him know I was on my way. Logan would watch a movie, probably Cars, in his little chair. They’d hear my car pull up to the house, usually at 7:30 or 8:00. Logan would be tired, but he’d fight to stay awake when he knew I was coming.
I’d get out of my car and open my trunk to get out my suitcase. Then my son’s front door would open and little, bald-headed Logan would break into a huge smile and squeal, “GRANDMAAA!” He would be so excited to see me.
That’s what I think about when I ponder what “welcoming love” looks like. Have you ever or do you now know what that welcoming love feels like? That’s what we’re saying we’d like to be as St. John’s community.
And while my story makes welcoming love sound so easy, we all know it’s challenging. It’s easy to love people we get along with and generally enjoy being with. But John the Gospel writer, doesn’t say, “God so loved the people you love…..” John says that God loved the world.
The word in Greek is from the word cosmos! The entire creation!
And that’s why the church is essential and wonderful. We have the chance to know and to learn to love people who may be very different from us…people we may not have ever met.
We are called to reveal… we are called to model to others the love that God has shown us. Maybe we’ll have to work to be as excited as little Logan was to see me. God welcomes each of us with deep love and joy. Let us do the same….