It’s all there, in every picture.
It doesn’t matter which photo comes first, because in every image, you can see that we put first things first.
One of my favorite photos is of a man and a woman holding a baby at a church picnic. Nothing remarkable about that, except when you realize that none of the three of them are related to each other. That’s what it means to love, here in this congregation. It means we take care of each other like family, even when we’re not. We love each other because we belong to each other.
There’s the buckets of food from the garden. The backpacks filled with school supplies. The food for school children. The walking shoes ready for the CROP Walk. The meals served to the homeless. The financial support given to community partners.
It’s a broken and messy world we live in, and if there’s one gift that we can give the world, it’s hope. That’s the message of every sacred story, every word of ancient scripture. From the first breath of God over the waters of creation to the call of Moses at the burning bush. From the promises to Abraham and Sarah to the challenge of the prophets. From a starlit night in Bethlehem to a heavy cross to an empty tomb…. We hold a story offers a hope that we will never be alone, hope that the story will continue, hope that the world can be transformed.
First things first: We love. We serve. We hope. Everything else follows from there.