Glory to God in the highest! The last four days in Costa Rica have been far more inspiring than I could have ever imagined. As we have worshipped and prayed God has given me pause to think and reflect and thank God for the hundreds of people who have travelled from Mount Pisgah to share missionally the love of Christ with the Costa Ricans in both word and deed. Yesterday when I saw Pastor Carlos from Liberia, Pastor Henry who is now teaching in the seminary, and Karolay from Los Guidos I marvelled at how God is using them so greatly here. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it! Way to go God! Way to go people of Mount Pisgah! Way to go Bishop Palomo and the on fire Methodists in Costa Rica! Gloria de Dios!
Archives for January 2013
Though it seems like so long ago the tragedy in Sandy Hook, CT is just a month removed. Events such as this beg many questions and leave us shocked, staggered, and hungry for some different kind of news. “Where is the good news?”, asked a young woman in our community whose tear stained face spoke volumes in terms of her pain and grief over the tragic loss of so many precious lives. The good news is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, sounds esoterically theological and feels devoid to some who simply wonder how can God allow such, but this is the truth.
The good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that God is with us, period. The good news is that God loves us, and has promised to never leave us or forsake us even in times when it seems that humanity has gone wild, and there are no rules, and justice has left the building. Many are already aware of our involvement with the Newtown UMC in Sandy Hook and how our faith community at Mount Pisgah felt compelled to respond to help those in that community. To have a sister church there and a colleague like Pastor Mel Kawakami displays the connectional nature of the Body of Christ at its very best. I have never been More keenly aware of the benefit to being UMC. Pastor Mel called last week to say thanks for the cards, prayers, and love offering our people sent. He talked a long while, I simply listened; the grace of God has never been more valuable to either of us I suspect as he shared the pain and the journey of the people in that community that he shepherds. He asked how we were prompted to respond, I told him I simply asked our people to do what God does in times like this; grieve and give. I didn’t have to ask twice, they responded with love, grace, and generosity. We will forever be partners in sharing the good news to hurting people.
Another connect came in a letter unsolicited that came to me via our website (www.mountpisgah.org) from someone unknown to me which birthed another blossom of good news. It read:
I was reading about your church and all its “outreach” ministries and prayer life. I was very moved by the response of your church to the Newton UMC after the shooting that took place there in Sandy Hook, Conn. I am encouraged by your quick and ready response to meet needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ. Thank you for being sensitive and responsive to the Holy Spirit’s leading. My prayers are with you and your church and its ministry / servants of God. Thank you for giving to the Lord! EllaWayne Byrd, Frisco City UMC, Frisco City, Alabama.
A precious sister in Christ praying and partnering, grieving and giving, who simply was sharing a word of encouragement to us all. Why? Because she knows from experience that the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ always overcomes the darkness. Grief, pain, and dark days will surely come but the light of Christ always overcomes. Join me in continuing to pray for our brothers and sisters in Sandy Hook, and join me in sowing the good news into the hearts of those in need for God’s Love Endures Forever!