Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:
What an awesome summer once again here at Gloria Dei! When I reflect about this awesome community, centered in Christ, I am reminded of John 13: 34-35.
“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
This text seems to briefly sum the good people here at Gloria Dei. That we are uniquely built on God’s love, which we freely give to our neighbor. This is a distinctive trait because the world, at this moment, seems to need a lot of love, and we abundantly have what the world needs right now.
Yet, there are those in the world that may try to tell us that we are not of sound mind when we proclaim God’s love for all people. That because God’ mercy flows through us without reservation, others may find fault with how we demonstrate our exceptional sense of compassion. This may have something to do with wanting to be right instead of righteous. See, we want to be right when we follow scripture, which is only natural, but sometimes when we want to be right, we can forget that we are called to be a righteous. Our God invites us to be righteous, meaning to love God and love our neighbor. Therefore, by loving our neighbor we are, in turn, loving God. That we are gathered and then sent out to love our neighbors of the world based on God’s love. But this type of love can be scandalous, because it asks the faithful to love what can be difficult to love. Yet, as 1 Corinthians 12 tells us,
“If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am
nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not
insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”
Brothers and sisters, you love in such ways, and you can be very proud of how you love the stranger. You do great things in God’s name just by your love.
In the future, we will have the opportunity to love in a different way. On Saturday, October 14, 2017, we have been invited to participate in a reformation service that will include our Lutheran brothers and sisters, but it will also include our Roman Catholic brothers and sisters as well. This service is called, “From Conflict to Community,” and it will take place just down the street at Holy Cross. This is an exciting time for God’s love to be expressed in different ways that we have not witnessed during our lifetime. With great courage and eagerness, we can hope and pray that we will find a way to lift up our Triune God as a diverse family of faithful worshipers. It is with this hope that we can ask the Holy Spirit to help and guide us during the very exciting time built on God’s love.
Peace be with you,
Pastor Steve Bogie
If there is a need for pastoral care after the church office is closed, you may contact Pastor Steve Bogie @ 262-409-0743