Friday, October 04 2019
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, lives in you. For this reason I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is within you through the laying on of my hands; for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:5-7).
Paul’s letter to Timothy begins with a touching reminder of Paul’s deep love for Timothy and his appreciation for the faith that was passed down to him by his Grandmother Lois and his mother Eunice. Last week Fr. Anthony Jones talked about the presenters at his ordination. They were representatives of this parish who discerned a call in him, formed him, presented him, and willingly gave him to our sister church in Brooklyn into a new ministry. The lesson begins, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God” (2 Timothy 1:1). The term apostle is derived from the Greek word ἀπόστολος (apóstolos), meaning "one who is sent off." Today’s message is that we pass this love of God through our faith in Jesus Christ and we are sent into the world in the power of the Holy Spirit.
God’s reign spreads from a spark to a wildfire when we hear, accept, and grow in God’s love. Even a seed as small as the mustard seed will flourish when it is sown in the ground. The mustard seed is the love of God that is sown in our hearts. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that everyone that believes may have eternal life. Jesus’ love is sown into all of our hearts and each of us can, have, and will do amazing things. Today’s Gospel demonstrates God’s mystery and power in commonplace events and activities. When we come to church, we open endless possibilities through God. When we listen to the Gospel, we hear a perspective that is different from the negativity in newspapers, our iPhones, the television, and our computers. God is always creating new possibilities, even during difficult times. Our mistake is not having enough faith that God is good and that we have the power to change our environments. We need to have an expectancy of God’s love and grace. While many around us are cynical and skeptical we continue to be hopeful. Herbert O’Driscol said that we need to dream good dreams while so many are having nightmares. When we hear the Word of God, accept what it means for our lives and bear fruit, we are transformed into more than we could ever ask or even imagine. Like the mustard seed, our simple lives are incorporated into a much larger plan to bring everyone to unity with God and each other.
I ask each and every member of St. John’s to participate in the ministry that God is doing right here. We need each and every seed to be nurtured into all God has created us to be. Pray for one another, love one another, visit one another, cook for one another, feed one another, cloth one another, teach one another, and experience the endless possibilities that God offers to those who love God with their whole mind, heart, soul, and strength. With the Harvest Fair coming on October 26th, we need the entire parish to help spread the faith and love of God through your participation in our largest event of the year. When you experience the love and mercy of God in community, you find the pearl of great price, the treasure hidden in the field. Your life is changed forever when lived in the expectancy of God’s love and mercy. Think good thoughts, dream good dreams, do good things. God’s love is closer than you could ever imagine.
In Christ’s love,