As we begin a new program year, within the Church calendar, it is a good time to pause and really look at where are we as disciples of Christ. How are we doing at living out our baptismal calling to love one another and forgive the way that Christ has loved and forgiven us?
Look long enough in the eyes of our Savior and there you will see a bride… He sees her, he awaits her, he longs for her. And who is that bride?? YOU ARE. You have captured the heart of God. “As a man rejoices over his new wife, so your God will rejoice over you” (Isaiah 62:5).
Our challenge is to remember these objectives: Meditate on it. Focus on it. Allow his love to change the way that you look at the world around you. You have been chosen by Christ,.
You have been released from your old life and invited into a new life. A life filled with His presence and His love. Engaged people are obsessed with preparation. The right dress. The right weight, the right hair and the right tux. They want everything to be right for the big day. They want to look their best because the love of their life is marrying them. Their best friend is dedicating the rest of their lives to them.
The same is true for us. We want to look our best for Christ. We want our hearts to be pure and our thoughts to be clean. We want our faces to shine with grace and our eyes to sparkle with love. We want to be prepared. Do we want this so that he will love us? No just the opposite, we want this because he already loves us and is dedicating all of salvation to us.
You and your heart are already spoken for, You are engaged, set apart, called out, a holy bride. Forbidden waters hold nothing for you. You have been chosen for Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior. He is waiting for you to say yes to the invitation that he has offered you and he wants you to prepare yourself. Through your worship, living in community with other Christians and sharing your gifts and talents with others. Studying His word and letting that word shape your life. Memorize it, talk about it at home, at work, and at play. Let others see it in and through you each and everyday.
May this year be filled with an outpouring of His Holy Spirit and love. May we grow in our discipleship both to Christ and to one another.
In Christ’s love,
Rev. Stephen W. Barch