race & Peace,
Thank you, thank you, thank you. That is my first prayer each day. Thank you God.
Today, thank you to Saint John’s and to those parishioners who have responded so brilliantly with their love of God and love of our sisters in Tanzania. The education of the five women catechists from the Diocese of Masasi has been funded through your generosity.
I am excited at the thought of these women continuing in their studies and how, God willing, it may lead towards ordination. I am also excited at the prospect that some of you who have been so generous in funding this education might, given the opportunity, choose to travel to Tanzania in 2021 to celebrate their graduation from Bundo Bible College, and have the opportunity to meet the people and experience the culture of this wonderful place.
This is, to me, part of the answer to the question that we will be exploring in September of Why Christian? The disciples shared a common purse. The disciples assured that all who had need were cared for. The specific acts of caring for others are not unique to Christianity, but it is unique to Christianity when the care for others is expressed through the love of Jesus.
Obligation to care for widows and orphans, obligation to care for the needy, is important and ultimately will produce positive results. Caring for widows and orphans, caring for the needy, because of the love of Christ brings results that extend beyond a good meal, or a warm dry place to sleep. Love as the core incentive, love of neighbor, reaches deeper and is, to me, at the core of Why Christian.
Being Christian does not come from birth or family lineage, it is a choice. Being Christian is a tough choice, but it is a choice that is punctuated by love. It is love of God and Jesus not fear of God that drives us. It is love of God not obligation that drives us. It is love of God that is our motivation and also our reward.
I am so excited to know that parishioners of Saint John’s have a love of God and a love of Jesus that is so deep that the love extends to our sisters and brothers in Masasi, Tanzania.
I am so excited to see Christ’s love in the world.
Last Sunday evening at the 5pm Taizé service we had a visitor from Tennessee. He explained to us that a friend who had visited Saint John’s recently had told him “there is something special about that church” and that he had to visit. So while he was in DC he drove the 45 minutes to Olney to attend worship at Saint John’s. He told us after the service “yes, indeed there is something special here”. We may not be able to name it, or place a finger on it, but we all know that there is something special about Saint John’s; and I suspect that something special is the love of Jesus.
So if you ask, why Christian, why Episcopal, why Saint John’s you need only see the love of Jesus to find the answer.