It goes without saying that this particular message has turned out to be the hardest to write. My emotions are all over the place right now, but I do know this one thing. My election as a Bishop was a God thing. “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord of hosts.” [Zechariah 4:6]. It is not, was not, nor will it ever be about me but about the redeeming love of God in Jesus Christ that transformed and continues to transform my life. I may be “gentle” and “humble” as some have said, but in my heart, there is a fierce powerhouse of God’s Spirit that will always believe love is stronger than hate, and light always overcomes darkness…especially the light that is Jesus Christ.
I ask that you pray for me as I continue to strive to do what the Lord requires, “…to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God.” [Micah 6:8]. Pray that I will always proclaim Jesus as Lord, not only in word, but in every decision or action that this office requires of me.
I carry with me the nurturing love each of you have given me. I give thanks for the people who have loved and nurtured me, who have cared for and about me despite my many imperfections, shortcomings, and mistakes. Whether I am blessed with treasured memories of you or your continuing presence in my life, I am thankful that each of you helped me gain or renew my strength in the Lord over and over again. I appreciate all that I am and all that I am becoming because of the inspiration of the people who have loved me.
“What is REAL,” the Velveteen Rabbit asked the Skin Horse.
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you when a child loves you for a long time.”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are REAL, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But those things don’t matter at all because once you are real, you can’t be ugly.” (The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams)
In our complex world, it is the simple truth of the incarnational love rooted in the amazing gift of God’s love poured out in Jesus Christ that will ultimately transform us and the world. It has always been that simple for me. Therefore, in the words of Forest Gump, “that’s all I’ve got to say about that.”
Love’s essence needs no words,
Articulate eyes say enough.
Joy’s essence needs no explaining,
Simple things are always enough.
Hope’s essence needs no sight,
Resting in mystery is enough.
Be still my soul, trust the journey.
Love never ultimately disappoints.
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Fair – Nurtured In Love – 07.21.2016
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