When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, “Surely the LORD is in this place, and I was not aware of it.” (Genesis 28:16)
Dear Sisters & Brothers in Christ:
As we emerge from our time of forced distancing from family, friends, and the church, think back to what you felt during your time apart from others, or still feel as you continue to distance yourselves.
We have an opportunity to reflect on what really matters to us. What did you miss most at that time? I would guess that most of us missed connections with people, whether it was enjoying a casual conversation with friends in a relaxed environment, or deeply craving the embrace of grandkids and other loved ones.
We all long for meaningful personal interactions with others. Why do we long for that connection? Because the Lord is in that place where hearts and minds meet. He is not in objects or music, nor in a beautiful setting. The place where we find the Lord is where his love is present in the interaction between people. He is in the warmth of a loving connection and genuine interest in knowing and sharing with another.
The need for meaningful connection is not a new idea to the world. It is recognized as a fundamental of life. I think the importance of, and the return to, valuing relationship building is being rediscovered by many in the world during these challenging times. It is useful to remember that the place where our relationship with the Lord begins is in the relationships at home with those closest to us; it then radiates outwards in greater and greater love to our friends and neighbors. When fully realized, it extends to the strangers whom we encounter in our journey.
As I begin my ministry here at Glen Moore UMC, I am a stranger to you. I look forward to growing warm and meaningful connections with each of you as we do ministry together.