We Are Children of God

Sunday, July 20

???????????????????????????????????????By Jim Poirier, Presiding Bishopric

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field…the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. …The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest…’”

—Matthew 13:24, 26, 28–30 NRSV

I shared in a closing ceremony that celebrated the life of a congregation in a small agricultural community. As people left the farms, they moved to other communities. Amid the celebration was a sadness that perhaps the congregation could have done better. As I was preparing for the message, I found a small, well-worn book with the name of each child carefully written. It was the Cradle Roll.

The congregation took care of its children and youth. Members taught them lessons that make for peace. They did not judge. They taught them to be generous because God loved them. The congregation walked with them in times of discovering meaning for their lives. Members knew each by name.

There was joy in seeing the lives transformed. Many became active in other congregations. Some were active in World Church ministry. Some have joined other faith communities. Some have chosen to be active in the communities where they live.

I would guess they all remember what they learned in this small, country church. They have compassion and faith. They have a hope in the face of trial. The values they learned help make this world a better place. The children continue to share the peace of Jesus Christ wherever they are. If any had walked through the doors that day, they would have felt right at home.

This congregation sowed the seeds now scattered all over the world. Members watered the seeds with love, and they grew to their true capacity. All knew they were children of God.

Prayer for Peace Nurturing God, just as our communities nurtured us as we grew, may we also nurture the generations to come. May we allow what we plant to grow beyond our expectations, to grow in your love and peace.

Spiritual Practice: Develop Disciples to Serve As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to respond to people and their needs. Pray about using your skills to help another person. As you feel affirmed, thank God for the opportunity to be a responding, serving disciple while you move into the outward journey.

Peace Covenant Today, God, I will absorb your holy light, drink in your living water, and grow.

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1 Comment

  1. Marni Fisher

     /  20 July 2014

    I like this approach to a congregation closing. I’ve heard too many people recently bemoaning the fact that we have such a small congregation. The thought that anyone who was nurtured at a congregation would feel welcome to walk back in was confirmed when my husband attended after 20 years of absence. His comment as we left was “there are such wonderful people there”. It made my heart happy.

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