1 Aug 2012

August 2012

From the Pen of Pastor Barb Lemke

“Come to me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.”

Matthew 11:28-29

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Our world is a paradox. It is inconsistent and absurd, and yet we, as Christians, are called to be in the world, but not of the world. To speak to the brokenness around us. To find ways to “love like J esus” by acting in a just way, making peace with others and living a life of discipleship, which means that we are to reach out to the broken hearts to bring the healing of Christ. This was embedded into our seven young people, who were outstanding, awesome and engaged, along with the thousands around them, as we learned what it means to live our lives tearing down the barriers that separate humanity.

  • We were thrust into praise and worship.
  • We were thrust into the importance of walking the talk of Christianity.
  • We were thrust into knowing who we belong to, . . Jesus!
  • We were thrust into recognizing that Jesus calls us to speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.
  • We were thrust into a new understanding of what it means to work for peace and justice in this crazy mixed up world of inconsistency!
  • We were invited to see the pain and suffering in our world and act upon it as Christ would.

And in the midst of our praise and focus we learn of the brokenness of our world shattering the lives of so many in Aurora. Longing to be present with those we love here in Aurora. Feeling tears well in our eyes. Our world was being ripped apart by an act of violence while we were immersed into the good news of Jesus’ love for us and those around us. We didn’t know how to or what to feel.

And then the prayers came from the 33,000 plus. . . and our brothers and sisters surrounded us on the streets as they read the back of our shirts, Bethel Lutheran Church, Aurora, Colorado, and we were stopped, surrounded by a church hom Iowa who laid hands on us on the street, praying that there would be healing in our community and in our hearts and that we would be a witness of God’s grace and mercy as we retumed home. The tears fell. On Friday evening we heard, “Jesus Loves Me ” on the saxophone while slowing from the community around us the words rose and tears fell. We were surrounded by the body of Christ and strengthened with the message for our severely broken world. We are to come home to tear down walls and draw others to the cross of healing, hope, forgiveness, life, restoration, longing, truth and wholeness. We are to be here for Christ.

We have been on a mountain of praise and we return to a valley of pain. The words we need to hear are from Christ and are to be spoken to all we encounter, “Come to me ALL who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Love/Live like Christ,
Pastor Barb

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