Monday, April 27, 2009

The evidence of Love

It was another good weekend; but I'm more than ready for Rebekah to come home from her week-long retreat in Indiana. Even the best experiences lose their edge when I'm on my own. I was also disconnected from my church family yesterday, as I spent Sunday morning with the Seffner United Methodist Church.

I preached both services with the Methodists and then skipped their fried chicken lunch on the grounds to rush back to First Presbyterian for "Dancing with the Youth."It felt strange to walk in from the parking lot to something already in progress. The event was both hilarious and successful - probably more successful because it's so funny.

Some of the adults totally hammed it up, some took their roles very seriously, and the young people who danced with them were good sports. It's the kind of creative event that makes our church unique (even more unique than it already is!). What works is the authentic love and sense of vital community that we share. Jesus pointed out on more than one occasion that the best witness is love; that the rest of the world will be convinced that we really do follow Jesus because of the love evidence. We love with excellence at First Presbyterian in Brandon.

That was the heart of my message to the Seffner church. "When people meet us; when they come to visit our church or when they come across us in day-to-day life... is there any evidence that might lead them to believe Jesus really did rise from the dead Easter Sunday?" Or - and this is the question I've been asked to speak on at Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church Wednesday evening, "Why do I believe in the resurrection?"

Well, I believe in the resurrection for more reasons than I can outline here this morning. But the number one slice of evidence is Christ's life within me, and within the church community where I worship. The Risen Lord is all over the place at my church! That's good news any day, and especially on a Monday morning...

Love and blessings - DEREK

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