NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR OCTOBER 5, 2014
Many of you have heard me talk about Lula. Lula is my sister who’s only 11 months and 13 days older than I. By several days, we are the closest in age of all of our siblings. One would think that would make Lula and me very close relationally. Well, while in the last few years since her heart attacks we have been close, the fact is that for most of our lives Lula and I have been like “oil and water,” we just didn’t mix well. On my family visits back home to Virginia, Lula and I would hug, kiss and speak, then we’d put some distance between ourselves. That was because if we were in the same room more than few minutes unpleasant words were sure to be exchanged. I don’t know why, but that’s our history. At least as adults, it was only words.
Growing up it was physical. As small children, Lula and I used to fight every day. About 4 o’clock; (don’t ask me why 4 pm … again, I don’t know) Lula would start a fight with me and beat me up. This stopped when I was around 12 years old. As had been predicted to her by our Mother, “Lula, I would stop this nonsense if I were you; because one of these days, you are going to start a fight with “Johnny” and he’s going to give you the whipping of your life.” Mamma was right. The physical fighting between Lula and me stopped after that first time I was the victor in our fights. What does all of this have to do with “The Things We Share?”
I suppose I could draw attention to all of the obvious things that a brother and sister share and the list would seem endless. However, I believe the most unifying thing that Lula and I shared and still share is our identity as brother and sister. The thing we share, our love for each other as siblings, members of the same family, supersedes everything else. And no matter how many times she’d beat me up or I fought with her, it would not have been wise for you to take on either one of us. If you tried, at that point, no matter how we were feeling toward each other, we united as a formidable force against whoever dared to intrude and violate the sanctity of our sister and brotherhood. I know… it makes no sense; but that’s how it was. The thing we shared most, our relationship as brother and sister, was greater than any petty family squabbles.
On this World Communion Sunday, I pray that the body of Christ, the world wide community of Christians, would make that connection that Lula and I managed to make as family, even in the midst of terrible disagreements. As with our birth families, our faith family will not always agree. We even have fights; but we need to let the things we share the most, chief among them, our sister and brotherhood in Christ together, make us stronger and unite us to reach the world with the good News of God’s love and serve humankind in the name of Jesus.
Join us for World Communion Sunday this week at Covenant where we will recognize and celebrate being part of the whole body of Christ. I will preach on “The Things We Share” from Philippians 4:1-5.