Monthly Archives: October 2012

Wednesday 10.31.12 Insight from Betse Gage

Dr. Betse Gage is a pediatrician, and has been at her current practice for over 28 years. She’s a Kansas City native who chose her profession because she was so inspired by the pediatrician who cared for her when she was young. She has been involved in medical mission work in Honduras, other countries and locally–and, as her testimony shows, has a profound personal connection with Resurrection’s Matthew’s Ministry.

This is not my story but our son Craig’s story. Craig was a healthy 2 1/2 year old little bundle of joy when he went to bed healthy one night. The next morning we found him seizing and unresponsive. After one month in the hospital he was discharged to our home, blind and unable to even roll over. He had lost over half his brain to the seizures and a massive stroke.

Thus began a new life for our family. With two other small boys we struggled to just make it through each day. We had a strong faith and were involved in another church where I had attended all my life. When we were finally able to get Craig out again in his new wheelchair, we decided to attend Easter service as a family. We were so proud of how far he had come even though he could not walk or talk or see half of his surroundings. We wanted to celebrate God’s grace and mercy in saving our precious son. Dressed up in our Easter finery we went to the service. I wanted others in the congregation who had supported us to see how far he had come. Unfortunately, my overwhelming memory of that day is that Craig made some noises, vocalizations since he had no words, and we were met with frowns of disapproval and annoyance from members of the congregation. We left, devastated and alone. The church, our anchor, was rejecting our precious son and thus our family. At least that is how we felt on that Easter day so many years ago.

Then we heard about Matthew’s Ministry at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. My husband Bill had grown up Methodist. We had friends who had been attending Resurrection. It seemed God was opening a door for us, for Craig. We found a welcoming and caring church family willing to embrace us and support us during the most difficult time in our lives. There have been so many wonderful moments for our family at Resurrection, but one story says it all.

When Craig was at the age to go through confirmation I worried about whether he should participate, but wanted him to be with his peers and continue to learn about God and faith. I enrolled him in confirmation classes. The instructors were caring and patient and tried to adapt the curriculum to his level, but I was concerned that he would not understand what he was committing to when the time came for confirmation. Craig had been attending Sunday School for years, and services with us for a while. It was obvious he loved God, and praise music (for sure)–but did he really get it? One morning I was trying desperately to hurry Craig out the door for school. I was frustrated and worn out to say the least. Craig said “No, no. Wait, Mom. I have to put the sun on me.” I was wondering what he was talking about when he went over to the bathroom sink, turned on the water, put his hand under the water then spread the water across his forehead. “See, Mom? I am putting the Son on me.” At that moment amidst the tears and joy I realized Craig “got it” more clearly and purely than I could ever have imagined. My doubts vanished. God answered my prayers.

From then on Craig has reflected the face of God to me everyday with a pure, innocent, joyful faith. His faith keeps me centered and brings joy to all those who know him. What a blessing he is! Matthew’s Ministry at Resurrection welcomed a grieving, struggling family, renewed our faith and helped give us the courage to share Craig with the world.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Tuesday 10.30.12 Insight from Rev. Karen Lampe

Rev. Karen Lampe serves as Executive Pastor of Congregational Care at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.

Our Congregational Care ministries have been blessed over and again by generous individuals who give weekly of themselves as our team of volunteers continues to grow and thrive.  Over eighty individuals now serve across all of our campuses as Congregational Care Ministers (CCMs).  They give an enormous amount to our faith community as they lead groups, make hospital calls, help with special services, and help with continued care as individuals face difficult situations.  We are blessed beyond measure by this group.

Beyond our CCMs there are others who give enormous amounts of times for our quarterly Blood Drive, make quilts and shawls for our care ministries, write weekly prayer notes, serve as job and financial coaches, deliver meals to those in crisis, make up our special Christmas baskets for those who are going through financial struggles …..and the list goes on and on.

We have great days of ministry through our Congregational Care through our devoted staff, pastors and most importantly our volunteers.

No amount of praise is enough as they make a difference daily.

Your ongoing financial support makes our congregational care possible to people with needs every day of the year!

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Monday 10.29.12 Insight from Jonathan Bell

Note: over the next two weeks, the Insights blog will be sharing a variety of testimonies from Resurrection staff and lay members showing the real-life impact of the ministries made possible by the generosity (financial, personal and spiritual) of Resurrection’s members.

Jonathan Bell serves as Director of Mission Ministries at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.

Even after 22 years in urban and international mission ministry, the thrill of simple blessings does not fade, and I have the daily privilege of hearing what a difference our church’s faithfulness and generosity makes in the lives of people throughout Kansas City and around the world.

One day, it was the story of a team of Resurrection volunteers who built a wheelchair ramp with Christmas in October.  This time, the ramp was for a retired man and his wife who suddenly found themselves caring for their 45-year-old son.  Their son had suffered a massive stroke last October, and has been institutionalized ever since.  He progressed in his rehab to the point where he can now be cared for at home. The only remaining obstacle was the construction of the ramp. Our team was delighted to be part of the effort to reunite this man and his caring family!

On another day, this message came from a local ministry that receives food donated by our congregation – “Thank you for the latest food donation from the Church of the Resurrection. I cannot tell you enough how much we appreciate your continued support and the support of the church. It means a lot to us and the families and seniors we serve who are in need. And, it couldn’t have come at a better time as a number of the pantries were getting pretty low.  Almost immediately after the delivery we had several Service Coordinators stop by to pick up food to restock their on-site pantries.  Please pass along our gratitude for your donation.”

Then, not long ago, was the day Michael told us that he really enjoyed sacking food with the Meals for Malawi event this year, and that whoever put that together was “absolutely genius.” He said that his daughter, her husband and their two sons, ages 7 and 9, all participated with him and that after two hours of sacking food, the kids didn’t want to leave, even though they had birthday parties to attend. Over 800 volunteers packed a total of 288,000 meals that day.

Listening to Michael speak about this event, it was clear he was genuinely moved by the experience. He is now looking to find other ways to engage in ministry at the church on a regular basis.

Every day, we see the power of God and the inspiration of this congregation’s giving leading people further into service for others.   Thank you, Resurrection for your ongoing support of our mission budget needs and special mission offerings!

How might you get more involved and support our vital mission outreach in 2013?


Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Saturday 10.27.12 Insight from Rev. Bill Stephens

Rev. Bill Stephens left his staff role at The Church of the Resurrection in 2011, where he had served in the Silver Link ministry for several years. He is continuing to minister to smaller congregations in the Kansas City area, while remaining an active member at Resurrection (including his participation as a Saturday Insights blogger).

I always like to look at the context of a passage of scripture. In this way I can focus on not only the event that takes place but also the area in which it happens.

In this passage (Matthew 16: 13-18) an event takes place that sets the tone for Jesus to go to Jerusalem. It takes place in the northern part of Israel called Caesarea-Philippi. There is another Caesarea in Israel called Casarea-Maritine. This is on the coast of Israel and was the headquarters of the Roman Governor Pilate.

In our passage for today the location is as important as the event. This area of Israel has a number of caves. Tradition holds that the ancient gods of Greek Mythology lived in these caves. I think Jesus brought his disciples to this location to ask that searching question, “Who do the people say that I am?” Also the follow-up question was, “Who do you say that I am?”

In that location the disciples were surrounded by these caves of the Greek gods. The disciples had many gods to choose from. It would like going to a grocery store and wanting a can of beans. What kind of beans? Pinto beans? Chili beans? Green beans? You see the choices are often many. So it was with the disciples that day. It is as if Jesus was asking, “Of all the gods represented here in this location, which one am I?”

The disciples answered the first question with these words, “And some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” (verse 14)  The next question moves from a general comment as to who Jesus is to a personal question, “But who do you say that I am?” (verse 15) That question still echoes down through the centuries to each person who is a follower of Jesus. That question is still valid for each one of us today. We have many gods from which to choose today. There is the god of power, the god of sexuality, the god of being popular, the god of money. The list is even longer than the one the disciples could choose from there in Caesarea-Philippi.

It is Peter who comes forth with his strong affirmation: “You are the Christ (the chosen One), the Son of the living God.” (verse 16) How would you answer that question today? It is still there each and every day of our life. Jesus affirms Peter’s proclamation with these words, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jona! For flesh and blood has not revealed this you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter (Rock), I will build my Church, the powers of death shall not prevail against it…..” (verse 17)

Let us pray: O Lord, open my eyes, ears and heart to these words and this experience of the disciples. May I ever be mindful that I belong to you and you belong to me! Amen.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Friday 10.26.12 Insight from Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe helps facilitate Journey 101 “Loving God” classes, guides a 6th-grade Sunday school class, is a member of a small group & a men’s group, and serves on the Curriculum team.

When the boys were little guys, they loved to hear stories.  Suspiciously timed around bedtime, they’d frequently ask, “Please tell us a story.” We are a culture that thrives on anecdotes; whether it be the childhood tales that start with “Once upon a time” or the action-packed adventures that begin with “In a galaxy far, far away” or for fans of low-brow humor “Let me tell you a story about a man named Jed.”

As we consider Resurrection’s next 20 years, perhaps some stories can help us determine our role & how we might be a part of His Kingdom.

Doris & I are often asked how we can feel connected in such a large church.  Yet, for us Resurrection feels quaint & small.  When Jacob was an infant, we’d leave him with the nursery during worship with Miss Millie each week.  His little legs would kick with excitement as he heard her exclaim, “Welcome Jacob!”  Matthew, then 3, would join us in worship in what is now the Student Center as we sat behind Don & Kay each week.  Fortunately, they had raised a houseful of boys, so their smiles of understanding were a blessing as we coped with the intermittent disruption.

Today, we routinely worship as a family in the midst of dear friends each week like Bill, Mary Ann, Edna, Helen, Jim, Judy, Mike, Joan, & Judy.  We make a point to say hello & check in with each other about the happenings of the previous week.

Going back further in time, Doris & I took a Disciple 1 class right after we were married.  It was an opportunity for us to really connect with new friends at church as we read through the Bible.  What an opportunity for us to learn about God, God’s role for our lives, & even a little bit about ourselves.  (For example, we discovered that it was so wise for us to not to have met while in college.  I like to get my reading done way ahead of time.  Doris prefers that the information be “fresh” and would complete our reading assignment by the light of the streetlights on the way to class.)  What a joy it was for us to share the news that we would be having Matthew with such incredible friends in faith.

Before even meeting Doris, I started attending Resurrection at the behest of a fraternity brother.  I sat in worship on the back row of what is now the Narthex for the Wesley Covenant Chapel & the next week started attending Single Adult Sunday School after church.  There were usually only 6 of us as we met in what was a large office in the annex; but something was going on.  A few months later a dozen of us spent a weekend on a mission trip to Oklahoma City to re-roof an elderly lady’s home.  I went along to help, though I was not a fan of heights or, truth be told, manual labor.  (Um, it isn’t much of a confession when everyone already knows the answer– Editor.) 

While the project wasn’t of great magnitude or earth changing, the group dynamic was dramatically altered.  We had sacrificed a weekend together for God.  This simple commitment of time & energy brought direction & purpose to our small band of believers.  Within weeks, we were averaging 20 each Sunday & quickly grew to 40+ each week – to the point we would arrange chairs around the edge of the small office & then up & down the hallway with the facilitator standing in the doorjamb guiding the discussion.

What is remarkable about these short vignettes is that they are so unremarkable.  They have been replicated thousands of times at Resurrection.  All it takes is the desire to make worship part of your weekly routine & an interest to make connections with those in church with us.  All it takes is the decision to start reading the Bible or join a Bible study & find out for yourself why it is the best selling book of all time.  All it takes is a commitment to show the love of Christ to others by serving.

So, as the boys would say, go ahead & tell me a story.  What will be your story at Resurrection?

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Thursday 10.25.12 Insight from Rev. Glen Shoup

Rev. Glen Shoup is the Executive Pastor of Worship and Congregational Care pastor for those who have last names beginning with J – L.

What a great passage of scripture.  In today’s reading, Paul eloquently narrates the mission of God through the flow and essence of his prayer for these early Christians in Ephesus…God recognizes all people without regard for creed or ethnicity (vs 15); in Christ we all have access to God (vs 12);  but my favorite idea named in this passage of scripture is what Paul prays for in verse 18: “I ask that you’ll have the power to grasp love’s width and length, height and depth, together with all believers”.  I love that.  The notion that we might actually–to some degree–have the power to grasp…get hold of…get our arms around the height, depth and breadth of God’s love—that’s an incredible notion.  That’s a life-transforming notion. 

And what’s even more striking to me is the awareness that the verse which precedes this particular verse, actually tells us how it is that we can grasp…get hold of…get our arms around the height, depth and breadth of God’s love: I ask that Christ will live in your hearts by faith (vs 17).

You see, what this prayer by Paul reminds us of (among other things) is that there is ultimately only one way to know, embrace, reflect and live into this love that Paul speaks of and that is by knowing, embracing, reflecting and living into Christ.  While it is necessary and accurate to point out that the gospel is about far more than individual salvation and faith, it is also necessary and accurate to remember that there is no collective social salvation and faith unless there is first an individual salvation and faith.  Jesus can’t be for the world in some collective sense unless Jesus is also for you and me in an individual sense.  So while the gospel and mission of God that Paul prays for through the church in this passage is about a lot more than just personal salvation, we must never forget that God’s call to the world and God’s prayer for the world (which Paul is drawing from in today’s passage) that God’s Kingdom might come on earth just as it is in heaven can’t fully happen until it happens in me and you personally and individually.

This is why evangelism is such a crucial reality to being a follower of Jesus.  Not in the offensive and obtrusive sense that term tends to conjure up on our minds (e.g., some fire and brimstone that preaches “turn or burn” or some radical reductionism that views others as simply “souls to be saved”), but in the holistic sense that God cares about every aspect of our lives including whether or not we personally embrace, accept and seek to daily live into God’s salvation and life for each one of us. 

So in essence, I’m simply struck by today’s reading to remember that seeing the church renewed is essential (as is transforming communities), but none of that will truly happen unless first we invite Jesus to change lives on a daily basis (starting with our own) and then live into what it means to look for opportunity to call others to do the same.

I ask that Christ will live in your hearts through faith…I ask that you’ll have the power to grasp love’s width and length, height and depth, together with all believers (vs 17 & 18).

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Wednesday 10.24.12 Insight from Rev. Steven Blair

Rev. Steven Blair is the Congregational Care pastor of Celebrate Recovery and Live Well Emotional Wellness Ministry.

Transforming communities
WEDNESDAY 10.24.12   Luke 4:16-21
The question is “HOW?”
Jesus’ main passion was not to get people on earth into heaven, but to get heaven into people on earth.  According to Luke 4, this looks like physical and spiritual healing associated with “release,” “sight,” and being “set free.”  I would imagine that all of us would get on board with that image of Jesus’ mission.  No need to spend time persuading us to agree with what many of us already agree.  The question instead is “How?”  How are communities transformed?

The answer is both simple and difficult.  A community is a network of relationships that cannot be transformed without relationship.   The starting point for all of community transformation is …. to learn names.  When we learn names we stop seeing poverty and start seeing persons who are poor.  When we learn names we no longer see addicts, but people who struggle with an addiction.  When we learn names, we begin to learn the peoples’ stories and what release, sight, and being set free look like for them.  This is true when we are considering people who live in the urban core, the community of people who work in your office, live in your neighborhood, or attend school with your kids.  Community transformation is not just something that needs to happen “over there” somewhere.  Each of these communities needs transformation as well.   Believing that our workplace, neighborhood, or schools are not needing transformation is a sign of our own blindness that Jesus wants to heal.

Transforming communities is not just the vision for what happens when Resurrection comes together but for what Resurrection does when we are in our individual lives as well.   Bringing heaven to earth all starts with learning names.    

1) What is a community that you are a part of that needs transformation?
2) How can you be intentional to learn the people’s names (and stories) in this community?
3) How can you join with them to provide release, sight, and a message of being set free?

Grace and Peace,
Steven Blair
Pastor of Celebrate Recovery and the Live Well Emotional Wellness Ministry

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives,
And recovery of sight to the blind, To set free those who are oppressed,
To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.”
         Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Tuesday 10.23.12 Insight from William Barclay

A server outage interfered with our ability to deliver a regular Insights blog today. In its place, you’ll find insight into our Bible reading from the great British scholar William Barclay in these comments from his Daily Study Bible series volume on The letters to the Corinthians. (pp. 209–211. Philadelphia, PA: The Westminster John Knox Press, 1975).

THE office that Paul claims as his one glory and his one task is that of ambassador for Christ. The Greek he uses (presbeutes) is a great word. It had two uses corresponding with the Latin word of which it is a translation (legatus).

(i) Roman provinces were divided into two types….In the imperial provinces, the man who administered the province on behalf of the Emperor, was the legatus presbeutes. So then, the word in the first place paints a picture of a man who has a direct commission from the Emperor; and Paul regarded himself as commissioned by Jesus Christ for the work of the Church.

(ii) But presbeutes and legatus have an even more interesting meaning. When the Roman senate decided that a country should become a province they sent to it ten legati or presbeutai…who, along with the victorious general, arranged the terms of peace with the vanquished people….They were the men responsible for bringing others into the family of the Roman Empire. So Paul thinks of himself as the man who brings to others the terms of God, whereby they can become citizens of his empire and members of his family.

There is no more responsible position than that of ambassador.
(i) An ambassador of Britain is a Briton in a foreign land. His life is spent among people who usually speak a different language, who have a different tradition and who follow a different way of life. The Christian is always like that. He lives in the world; he takes part in all the life and work of the world; but he is a citizen of heaven. To that extent he is a stranger. The man who is not willing to be different cannot be a Christian at all.
(ii) An ambassador speaks for his own country. When a British ambassador speaks, his voice is the voice of Britain. There are times when the Christian has to speak for Christ. In the decisions and the counsels of the world his must be the voice which brings the message of Christ to the human situation.
(iii) The honour of a country is in its ambassador’s hands. His country is judged by him. His words are listened to, his deeds are watched and people say, “That is the way such-and-such a country speaks and acts.” Lightfoot, the great Bishop of Durham, said in an ordination address, “The ambassador, while acting, acts not only as an agent, but as a representative of his sovereign.…The ambassador’s duty is not only to deliver a definite message, to carry out a definite policy; but he is obliged to watch opportunities, to study characters, to cast about for expedients, so that he may place it before his hearers in its most attractive form.” It is the great responsibility of the ambassador to commend his country to the men amongst whom he is set.

Here is the Christian’s proud privilege and almost terrifying responsibility. The honour of Christ and of the Church are in his hands. By his every word and action he can make men think more–or less–of his Church and of his Master.

We have to note Paul’s message. “Be reconciled to God.” The New Testament never speaks of God being reconciled to men, but always of men being reconciled to God. There is no question of pacifying an angry God. The whole process of salvation takes its beginning from him. It was because God so loved the world that he sent his son. It is not that God is estranged from man but that man is estranged from God. God’s message, the message which Paul brought, is an appeal from a loving Father to wandering and estranged children to come home where love is waiting for them.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Monday 10.22.12 Insight from Jeanna Repass

Jeanna Repass serves as the Kansas City Missions Program Director at Resurrection.

 Yesterday my youngest son Christian received his 3rd grade Bible during the worship service here at Resurrection. We’re “10:45-People” and we always sit in the mezzanine (balcony) but yesterday we sat right up front in order to snap the all-important pictures for the grandparents. Of course we chose the wrong side of the sanctuary and my son was on the totally opposite side of the room. We did glimpse him once and we deployed my 16 year old daughter to the aisle to get the best shot she could. In spite of the view, I was overcome with pride and the tears welled up as I caught a glimpse of him on the big screen. How could my baby be receiving his 3rd grade Bible already?

I’ve already been through this process – Bible presentation, confirmation, first communion – with my older two children, but yesterday it struck me that this was my last child and last Bible presentation. Then the choir sang “Here I Am Lord” during the offertory which happens to be the song they sang on the first Sunday that we visited Resurrection 5 years ago and that was the end of my ability to be composed. I let the tears run.

This song was performed beautifully by our choir and our orchestra. But it wasn’t just the beauty of the music, it was the song. It was the favorite song of my youngest brother Benjamin Joseph Orduna. Ben was born with Prader Willi Syndrome which is a disease that causes developmental disabilities both mentally and physically. Ben struggled with his health his entire life and never progressed above the learning abilities of a young child. He lived to be 30 years old – 20 years longer than expected and Ben had a love for the Lord that was infectious and would not be contained – especially when it was time to sing! Every time “Here I Am Lord” was sung or played in church, Ben could be heard singing loudly above all other voices. And if you were standing close to him and were not singing loud enough, he would nudge you and say “Sing Jeanna – Sing!” You had better belt it out where Ben and the whole congregation could hear you – or else!

I never make it through the first verse anymore.

But my tears are not just about missing the sound of Ben’s voice – because I can still hear it. I have tears of joy because of the connection I have with Ben through the song and through our son Christian whom we named after him. Christian Benjamin Ronald Repass is how his name is listed in the 3rd grade Bible program. Benjamin means “Son of My Right Hand” and we knew that we wanted Christian to carry Benjamin’s name – to tie him to one of the great, pure Christian believers and witnesses in our life. That’s one of the reasons the tradition of presenting our children with Bibles is so important. It ties us to each other and to all the 3rd graders who all received Bibles before. We hope that our children will be snapping pictures of our grandchildren receiving their 3rd grade bibles and then their children will send pictures of 3rd grade Bible presentations and on and on.

This is the image we read about in our scripture today – that we are chosen and like Jesus, we are stones to be built upon as we have built upon 2,000 years of all the believers that have come before us. Believers like Peter and the Apostles, like John Wesley, like my brother Benjamin, we are a part of the great family, “… a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy Nation, God’s special possession that (we) may declare the praises of Him who called us out of darkness into the wonderful light.” I Peter 2: 9. So we give our children names that tie them to their family and to a great faith and we give them 3rd grade Bibles and we teach them about the most incredible LOVE ever known in Jesus and we lead and leave them to be the stones that are built upon by our grandchildren and our great grandchildren – 20 years, 200 years, 2,000 years to come. Amen.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.

Saturday 10.20.12 Insight from Julie Peters

Julie Peters is the Associate Director of Student Ministries at The Church of the Resurrection.

When I read this scripture and see a glimpse of the picture of what we are called to look like as followers of Christ, one of the first things that occurs to me is the gap between what is and what could be. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs.” “Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.” These are strong statements. This is not a call to minimize our negative talk, thinking, actions, and attitudes, but a call to get rid of them.  Then the scripture goes on to challenge us to have kindness, compassion, forgiveness, and even follow the example of Christ by walking in love and giving ourselves up as a fragrant offering, a call into being self-sacrificing for the good of others. These are not easy things in any arena of life, and the arena of politics adds another level of challenge for many of us. There are certainly gaps between what is and what could be.

So, if I am to re-present this picture of who Christ is, and others are to be drawn to Christ through that picture…then the next thing I have to ask myself is, “When people interact with me, how much of Christ can they see?” Have I taken time to gaze upon this picture of who I am called to be, and then been intentional about aiming to have that picture be my pattern or the goal I reach for? What would it look like if we aimed to have all of our words, thoughts, attitudes and actions aligned with the example of Christ so that we could re-present Christ to the world around us? Certainly as we draw nearer to this picture and allow our lives to be more and more identified with who Christ is, the gap between what could be and what is begins to close, so that others might come to see a clearer picture of who Christ is through us.

And finally, when we approach the topic of faith interacting with political discussions, views, attitudes and decisions, even more questions come to mind. Have I allowed my faith to dialogue with my views and attitudes, or do I keep politics in a separate safe box where the two may never meet? When I interact with others in discussions about politics, is my desire to make a point stronger than my desire to love others…to walk in love with others? Maybe it is time for us to ask these things. If we aim to pattern all of who we are and all of what we do after the picture we see in Scripture, if we draw nearer to that image, then even in the arena of politics, we can begin to close the gap and re-present Christ. As the next three weeks unfold, and others look upon the picture of Christ in each of us, it is my challenge to all of us and my prayer for all of us that we will draw near to Christ and let God’s Spirit guide our discussions, views, attitudes and decisions, and that each day there might less and less of a gap between what is and what could be…so that we might each be a fragrant offering of Christ to a world that is tired of hearing the same old thing.

Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.