After 33 Years: It’s Still About Love

NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR FEBRUARY 16, 2014

This Sunday, Covenant will celebrate our church’s 33rd Anniversary. There is an old saying that goes “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” It’s a saying that people use as a stumbling block to prevent progress. However, as we celebrate our 33rd Anniversary, I hope that for us it is a reminder and an affirmation that the vision and mission of Covenant is still relevant and much needed after 33 years of ministry. Covenant’s vision and mission boiled down to one statement is simply this: “We exist to help everyone we can live life to the fullest extent by discovering the unconditional love, forgiveness and acceptance of God.” To fulfill that vision and mission, it’s necessary for each of us as part of the Covenant family to build new bridges of friendship, ministries and hope reaching out to our community. That’s the idea behind the “Connections” small group ministries we are currently developing. We can as a Church preach and teach about the need for us to build these bridges necessary to reach out to others, but the actual bridge building is the work of you and me as individuals.

late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall told this story. There were two unmarried sisters who had such a bitter fight that they stopped speaking to each other. Unable or unwilling to leave their small home, they continued to use the same rooms and sleep in the same bedroom. A chalk line divided the sleeping area into two halves. The chalk divided rooms so that both sisters could come and go and get her own meals without trespassing on their sister’s space. In the black of night, each could hear the breathing and snoring of the foe. For years they coexisted in grinding silence. Neither was willing to take the first step to reconciliation.

Then one night one sister got up to go to the bathroom and fell, breaking her hip. The other sister awakened by the fall and the scream of pain jumped out of bed crossed the chalk line and came to her sister’s side. After a few typical sister jabs at why she would do such a foolish thing as trip on her own feet, the sister held her foe of the past few years until the paramedics came and carried her to the hospital with her sister at her side. In those moments of darkness came the truth and power of love and light.

After finishing this story Justice Marshall concluded with these words: “The legal system can force open doors, and sometimes even knock down walls, but it cannot build bridges. That job belongs to you and me.” God is calling us at Covenant to cross the chalk line of other people’s lives by “Offering Hope + Showing Faithfulness + Sharing Joy” with them. “After 33 Years,” the work of building bridges and bringing God’s unconditional love, forgiveness and acceptance hasn’t changed. It’s still a job that belongs to you and me. And, “After 33 years – It’s Still About Love.”

So join us in the work of building bridges this Sunday at Covenant,as we celebrate our 33rd Anniversary. I will be preaching a sermon titled,“After 33 years-It’s Still About Love,” based on Deuteronomy 30:19-20 and John 13:35-35.

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