Our life here on earth is a constant journey and a life time experience from the old to the new, whether we look at things from incarnational or eschatological perspectives. It is very important to be aware of the constant tension, the paradox and most importantly the conflict between the old and the new in our lives. While we admit the vast complexity of this reality, our focal point should be on what it takes to belong to the new life and embrace its rhythm of newness so not to be carried away by the old or, even worse, to think we are in the new when in reality we remain in the old.
Dr. Bob Tuttle was one of my favorite professors from seminary because, in my experience with him, he lived out what he preached. My first encounter with him, before ever having him as a professor in class, was when he grabbed me by the arm and dragged me to the other side of the hallway so we could pray. “Your classmate needs us to pray over him.” He not only believed in the power of the Holy Spirit, he reveled in it. He believed in the supernatural power of God.
He stretched my openness to God and my openness to the Holy Spirit by sharing his experiences. Though I may not have originally thought some things possible before, his belief in them, combined with his Christian witness, left me open to God being more.
In my sermon Sunday I explored briefly how do we respond to the question of Jesus, “Do you love me?”
Do we mean what sing, “You are my everything, and I will adore you.” In Luke 14.33 Jesus says, “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” NIV.
To reminisce means: to indulge in enjoyable recollection of past events. Just remembering then, I surmise, can be enjoyable or not. Even the bad times, moments, events, decisions, etc. now after 23 years on April Fool’s Day, can evoke a smile from me.
I am so thankful.
So I reminisce.
“Do you love me?”
Is a question Jesus asks Peter in the gospel reading for this Sunday — three times!
I have often wondered how I would answer that question.
Take a minute and ponder it. What would you say to Jesus? After all, I suspect he is asking.
If you try to steal Peter’s answer as I often have i.e. ‘You know I do’ or give a one-word response i.e. ‘Yes’, then hear the second part of the question, ‘How do you love me?’ How is your love expressed?
Paul thinks that’s all that matters!
“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Gal 5.6b
This Friday marks the 23rd anniversary of his ministry as our Rector, or Senior Pastor. It must have been quite a change for him and his family (Barb, Peter, AJ and Whitney) to move from the high skies of Colorado to the sunny humidity of Central Florida. Another still to transition from leading conferences and a national ministry to return to the local rhythms of parish life. Greater changes and challenges have come in the years since, blending joys and sorrows into the type of ministry that can only occur “in place”.