“I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 1: 3-6
Good morning beloved,
I pray you are all feeling God’s Love, no matter where you are; for, you are welcomed and loved no matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey.
I heard this prayer in my heart and realized how prudent it is for this time in which we are living. This time, though, did not begin in 2022, during Covid, or even because of the last election. It may not have even begun in our lifetimes or that of our parents. In fact, I know it did not. It began even longer ago than that, before the United States, the Reformation, and the Roman Catholic Church. The time we are living in started when Jesus was crucified and was resurrected. We are living in the Time of Loss.
Now, beloved, this is not to say that loss did not happen before Jesus, it did. It most assuredly did. People died by the thousands in war, disease, and slavery. People died so often that it became…common. Accepted and sometimes even welcomed in the oppressive ancient world. But then Jesus came and explained that you and each one of you is important and a welcomed addition to the kin-dom. That is what changed, not the amount of people we lose but how much we love, care, and need each person who is part of our life because Jesus taught us to love. For that gift alone, I am grateful.
Yes, grateful even though the pain of losing someone is the worst I have ever felt. Even though that pain is so much greater for me when the loss is not death; but a choice to walk away. Yes, even then, I am so grateful that God taught us how to love through Jesus.
And, I have felt this pain over and over in my life. It has happened with girlfriends and an ex-wife, my employment, my friends, my sons, my brother, and with people right here in our church community. Even though there are always reasons much like there are with death, it still hurts. It is a grief I, and all people, must accept because we love each other so deeply. Because Jesus taught us how to love each other so deeply that when that relationship ends, when it dies, the pain is almost tangible.
That said, our love never ends. My love never does. No matter where a person roams or how long it takes, I will always love them and welcome them home into my life. Jesus may have taught us this truth as well when he taught us to forgive. Much like the Apostle Paul teaches us how to lovingly accept and work through the grief in our life. The grief which comes from this type of loss. He exemplifies this love for the lost in the words, “I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy.” I too thank God every time I remember all who I have lost as I hope all of you do as well.
Especially because loss has become so bitterly common today in a world which is ever changing. Who we are as a community now is so much different than who we were two years ago. And from what I understand, who we were pre-covid or who we were ten years ago. And these losses to our community, both natural and by choice, are painful. Yet it is a pain, I willingly and gratefully accept. I accept this pain because, if loss becomes commonplace, again. If it became so common that it did not hurt, then we would have forgotten the core Truth of Jesus’ teaching: Love. So, yes, I accept the grief and pain knowing that I LOVE EVERYONE OF YOU, no matter where you are in the world or in the kin-dom.
With love, I pray our loss and grief ends. We accept it if the time is not yet – right. And, Lovingly welcome – ALL PEOPLE – into our hearts – now and always,
your pastor and teacher, Brian
During summer, let us consider and remember to love God each day. Remember love is not just a feeling but an action we do every day. Feel free to text, call, or email me always to share as I am here to support you and your relationship with God wherever you are on the journey. My number is (207-350-9561) if you need anything or simply want to talk. Next week, my pastoral care hours are Tues. 12-5, Wed. 11-3, Thurs. 10-2. Many blessings and Love to you all.