Weekly Reflection

The weekly reflection can be found in the weekly email newsletter or here on the website. 

Scroll down for this week's weekly reflection. 

Jesus walks with us

11/8/19

O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Proper 27 BCP 236)


Its a good thing I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and has conquered death, otherwise I might read the collect for this week and worry for him. "O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God..." Jesus came to destroy all evil? Poor Jesus, there is a lot of evil in this world! And to throw on top of that making us all children of God? The man has his work cut out for him!


Thankfully, Jesus has the power of God on his side. Through God's grace, we have all been made children of God through Jesus. We have been forgiven and given the power to show God to others. I am so grateful for all that God has done for me through Jesus. Otherwise, some days, I might not want to get out of bed to face the day!


Though the devil sets evil against us, though human sin and brokenness stop goodness from flowing, God stands in the midst of our messiness with us and shines the light of love on all things. Gathering together, we help each other by caring and praying for each other, reminding ourselves and the world that God is with us, throughout all the ups and downs and side-ways we go. Take comfort knowing Jesus walks alongside of you, meeting every hard thing with compassion and love.

Ten years together

11/1/19

Almighty God, to whose glory we celebrate the dedication of your Church in all its congregations; We give you thanks for the fellowship of those who have worshiped in this place, and we pray that all who seek you here may find you, and be filled with your joy and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


A decade. Ten years. 120 months. 3650 days. 87600 hours. 5256000 minutes. 315360000 seconds. No matter how you look at it, it is impressive that St. John's and Grace's congregations have been in community and fellowship for ten years. This coming Sunday we will celebrate the last ten years together in worship together with both Bishop Sean and Bishop Michael, and a reception afterwards.


Of course, throughout the last ten years, our congregations have had the same kinds of ups and downs as any relationship. We have struggled together, we have laughed together, we have worshiped together. We have mourned the losses in our community, we have celebrated the new ministries and new opportunities together. In all these ways, God has gifted us with abundance.


In a time of mainline church decline, we can give thanks for the community we have together. The collaboration and fellowship of our congregations has held up and kept alive the faithful witness of Episcopalians and Lutherans in Franklin. Without each other, neither of our congregations would be able to do the ministry we are able to do together. God has given us great joy in our fellowship and unity, coming along us to grow this witness to Love.

God's Commands

10/25/19

Almighty and everlasting God, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Proper 25 BCP 235)


"And, that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command." The phrase which stands out to me the most from the Proper Collect for this coming Sunday is this bit about loving what God's commands. When I think about what people command, really, no matter who it is who is doing the commanding, I am not going to love their command. I think because it is a command, I automatically feel resistance to what is being commanded. Even if it is something good!


We don't like thinking about what God does as commanding. Using the word 'command' makes God feel harsh and hard, as if some military leader barking out orders. Indeed, many definitions of the word command include a sense of military orders. The main difficulty we have with the idea of God's commands, however, I think, is one of authority. We want to think we have authority over our own lives and no one else does. Yet, God does have authority over our lives, very simply from having created us and nurtured us and having saved us through Jesus Christ. God does have authority in our lives.


Our prayer for this coming Sunday morning leads to a deeper truth. When we give our lives over to God, we are giving God authority in our lives. We are called to listen to what God says and to be faithful and steadfast. We are to love, even when we do not understand, trusting that God knows and is looking after us. Just like a military leader who looks after the people in their care. We are called to love and through God's love and grace, we will share God's faith, hope, and charity in this world.