REFLECTING BACK TO LOOK FORWARD
As summer comes to close, I have a suggestion: along with looking forward to the fall, let’s reflect on the summer. Our culture moves so aggressively into the future that the past is a little bit like the rain forest and glaciers. Casualties of climate change, the past is not the source of identity, confidence and inspiration it once was, in part because it’s place in our lives is shrinking. While we’ve still got enough sunlight in the day to power a beautiful reflection, let’s look back.
One of the few things we know about Mary, Jesus’ mother is that she was someone who ‘treasured up’ things in her heart. In other words, Mary did not want to lose sight of the events leading up to Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:16-20). The words spoken about Jesus were impressed upon her, about who He would become. She prized what she knew of Jesus (Luke 2:40-51) and what that meant for her and others. In other words, she did not let her faith fade away but instead made it grow. As Mary did, let’s add His glory this summer into our movement into the past.
GOD IS PRESENT IN ALL MOMENTS
Start by asking yourself this question: If you only used three words to describe your summer to people, what would they be? Mine are: busy, illuminating, and dry. In my case, the summer was dry because I didn’t care to read the Bible much, and I paid for it. And what made summer illuminating, interestingly enough, was a busy travel schedule that got me out of town three weekends in a row (away from the usual busy which right now is drying me out like the hot sun). God met me along the way, through three consecutive times of travel. For me, busyness was both the thing that emptied me out, while also filling my soul. Now make the contemplation for yourself: how does this bespeak of your relationship with God? What do these words have to do with what you read, or didn’t read, listened or didn’t listen to in the Bible and on podcasts? What do they do with what God said or didn’t say, and did or didn’t do?
RESTORE YOURSELF BEFORE MOVING FORWARD
Don’t let us miss the firm foundation of our life in Yours, lest we fail to accrue to the profound good You had in mind for us this summer to become ours for life. Some of you had incredible, unadulterated moments this summer: on ski boats, at the top of mountains and by campfires, in countries where people have fewer means than we do, at home with your family, at camp with your friends; moments that are so good that probably should be said to be glorious. And I bet some of you had painful, lonely, anxious moments this summer. Times so bad perhaps they are indeed many things, but they are not glorious. Let us ponder these things against the backdrop of the miraculous love of God in Jesus Christ. As we move into fall, let us ask Him to make us new by looking back even as we pray He will do good to us as we move forward.
On Sunday, September 9, 2018, we celebrated God’s hand in blessing us with curiosity–the kind of interest that drove people to start La Jolla Community Church in 2005. Now as we’ve looked back and recognized how He was present then, we cannot help to ponder His glory in the next chapter of the church. Replay the service for inspiration as you contemplate how God was present in your life this summer.