1st John offers us words about love and God that are both comforting and challenging. In chapter 4 John says, “let’s love each other, because love is from God, and everyone who loves is born from God and knows God. The person who doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love.” Perhaps you can see why I say these are both comforting and challenging words. When we love others, we “know” God, John says-that’s comforting. But the opposite is true as well. When we fail to love, we don’t know God-and that is challenging.
But love isn’t something that we always or never do. Rather, most often love is something we do some of the time, or partially, while some of the time and in part we don’t love. That could mean that at times we know God and at times we do not. So most of the time our knowledge of God ebbs and flows, varies, and fluctuates. I wish that were not so-I wish I loved and knew God 100% and all the time. But I know that I do not. So I must trust in God’s grace and the grace of others around me, all the while striving to love more thoroughly and completely.
And that’s actually how we live the Christian life. We do our best and strive to be better people, and we trust in God’s amazing grace, perhaps especially when we are not at our best. My friend Mark Rubash calls this a state of “restful dissatisfaction.” By that he means we rest in God’s grace while hoping to keep growing, learning and becoming the people God has created us to be. John seems to think all of that growing into God’s grace is related to how we love one another. So let’s focus on love, in order to both know and be known by God.
On New Year’s Eve you’re invited to come receive the Lord’s Supper between 6:00 and 7:00pm. The service is “come and go,” but what most people do is come into the worship room, sit in silent prayer for a few minutes, then come to the kneeling benches where Bobby or I will serve you and then pray with you. We’re serving individually wrapped elements this year.
We’ll return to our regular schedule this Sunday with Sunday School at 9:00am and worship at 10:00am. If you’d like to join the Sunday School class, it’s in the first room down the hall from the Coffee Café. Daniel and Molly de la Cerda and Loy Trevino are the teachers.
If you’d like to read significant parts of the bible this year and have a space to process what you’re reading, join the Read Scripture 2022 class. In January, read Mark’s gospel and then join me to discuss it on February 1st (7pm). Send me an email to sign up for the class and I’ll send you a reminder about the class with a little more information later in January.
We like to have fresh flowers at the front of the worship room (in front of the pulpit) each Sunday morning. If you would like to provide the flowers one Sunday this year, please email email@example.com
Many of you have asked about Roy Skeeter, who was hospitalized with Covid. We’re glad to report that he has returned home and is doing much better! But remember to pray that God will comfort and be with:
— Fleta Hill, who is working through Leukemia treatments and dealing with an eye infection.
— Mary Ellen Bellard, who is home on hospice care because of pulmonary fibrosis.
— Butch and Susan Hill’s granddaughter (and Anna Felts’ great-granddaughter), Brooklyn, who is undergoing treatment at MD Anderson.
— The brother, son and grandson of Merry Setley, who are encountering various struggles.
–Ann Newstead’s brother, who lives in the UK, and is in late stages of cancer.
May God’s peace hold you this week and move you into another year with hope and thanksgiving.