“Love is the Way: God’s Transforming Love”

Rev. John Shaver

Sunday, November 8, 2020 at 9:30am Livestream Worship

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Dear SDUMC Family,

I am writing to you on Friday afternoon. These words come before we know all the results of many elections in cities, counties, state, and federal. This note is intended for us to reflect on God's Word and love, no matter the outcome of the many elections this year.

Writing to the Ephesian Church in a time of extreme unrest, reaching out in love to his friends who are weary and unsettled, Paul says: "…Walk as children of light" (Ephesians 5:8). Not "You can see the light." You are light! Not because you're always optimistic, not because you are right about politics, not because you do more than others, and not that you have had perfect attendance watching Livestream Worship. You are light because God is light. God is in you (even if you are frustrated, frightened, distraught, or even if you find that hard to believe). As I've watched the news for hours (what a former political science major does every four years), I see a nation hurting between the COVID-life lingering and the political friction in our country (and many other issues). But "God is light…" (1 John 1:5). I hope you'll take a moment to pause with me and feel God's bright light (or maybe it's just a flickering candle) in and surrounding you.

My friends, no matter what, let us always remember, God is still God today, tomorrow, and in all the days ahead. I was reminded today that in 1860 Abraham Lincoln was first elected during one of the most challenging times in our country. Later in November, he reminded everyone at an address in Springfield, Illinois, that we are all part of one country and must work together. I was also reminded in a recent devotional that in the midst of horrific plagues of Europe, the Hundred Years' War, and Church division in the 14th century, the mystic Julian of Norwich heard Jesus speak to her what Jesus says to us today: "All Will Be Well."

Friends, this is the truth. The truth you can trust. Today. This is a time for SDUMC to move forward in our grace-filled mission to be the hands and feet of Christ in a hurting world. Whether your person won or lost this season, the Church's mission is the same, not to be nice or judgmental or a little bit charitable now and then. We are to be Light. We are Light. The world needs Light.

I hope you'll join me as we continue our sermon series during this stewardship, Love Is The Way, through Livestream at 9:30 a.m. or Outdoor Worship at 10:45. This Sunday, we'll reflect on how God's love transforms us no matter what season we may be going through. We'll reaffirm our baptism, hear some inspiring music, and remind ourselves through prayer and Scripture of God's transforming love.

I hope you'll make it a priority to be with us online or in-person outside on Sunday and invite a friend to join you!

Please know that I've been praying for each of you and our world. I am grateful to serve as one of the pastors of a church full of unity, hope, love, and generosity!

Grace and Peace,

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