This has been a pretty incredible year for me. Not only with lots of new and exciting changes and challenges in my personal life, but with a fullness of blessings and growth in my journey with God, too. I have been incredibly lucky to have spent so much time worshipping and talking about faith with the Water's Edge family, and have been blessed by the welcoming, gracious, and loving nature of this congregation (within a congregation).
In addition to getting to know wonderful members of this family, I feel like this year has opened me up to a deeper understanding of my relationship with Jesus as well. Through the detailed studies of the last 24 hours of Jesus' life during lent, and now discovering the different ways Jesus interacts with me through the "Glimpses of Jesus" series, I feel these roots deepening-- a foundation settling and strengthening. These feelings are a gift to me as I prepare to embark on a journey of theological education and life committed to ministry. And, as the message from last week illuminated, it is not a result I can claim to be solely mine.
If you were not in worship last week, I apologize, but it would not do remote justice to attempt a summary here. The theme was "Jesus in one another," and I suggest you take Molly out to coffee some day to discuss her perspective... it's a good one. But, I will mention the bit that challenged me, and all of us, to see how every person we encounter can teach us something about Jesus-- that there's something unique in each person that allows him or her to teach us this one thing better than anyone else. This call to see Jesus in each other is not just about the challenge of accepting and appreciating everyone-- even those who are more than difficult to love-- but about the importance of community.
This connectedness, and strengthening relationship with Christ I feel is rooted in the community here. By learning your stories, strengths, joys, and hardships-- through the faith of this congregation paired with its diversity-- I have witnessed a broad spectrum of Christ-like qualities. My faith has been strengthened by your openness to share with me your gifts, your lives, your faith, and your membership in the body of Christ. And, through learning more about you, I have been able to see myself more clearly, and how I fit into this life in Christ also.
This coming Sunday we'll be talking about Jesus as our light. Sometimes we see this light as it illuminates a new path, or guides us through uncharted territory, but other times it's the porch light, or lighthouse beacon, reminding us how to get home. I have been blessed to have found a new home with you all at the Water's Edge, and will hold fast to the gifts you have given me throughout this past year. Thank you for your love, encouragement, and support, and for empowering me to know and share the goodness of our God and Jesus Christ.