Back in the day, when I became a solo pastor, my late husband made a suggestion that changed the way I preach forever. He said, why not take your summers and use them to explore all of those lists that everyone thinks they know. Thus far, we have looked at the Beatitudes, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Decalogue (the Ten Commandments).
This year, we are diving into the Fruit of the Spirit. And when I mentioned this to one of our Elders recently, he surprised himself by immediately shouting out the verse – Galatians 5:22-23. We both laughed out loud.
As the letter reads: the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
We will begin this summer with joy and go from there, spending most of the next three months.
This weekend is also Trinity Sunday.
The Trinity is by far one of my favorite theological concepts, even while it sends most people running for the hills. It is a holy mystery, I get it. A bit over a lot of heads. But to me, for some reason, it makes perfect sense.
Our God is perfect community. Communion. Relationship. Three persons all with distinct roles. But sharing equality. Power. Eternity. And yet, our God is also the God of the in-between. As one of my colleagues put it recently, of sunrises and sunsets and all those spaces and places that are occupied by creative combinations that are not distinctively one or the other. Our God is a joyful dance always playfully creating. The God of more. Because love will make expansive room to be inclusive every time, just like Jesus did during his lifetime.
So, come to worship this weekend as we celebrate our Triune God and the gift of joy in our lives that no one can take away.
Blessings, Pastor Janie
Artwork by Ying Hui Tan, from What Is God Like? by Rachel Held Evans & Matthew Paul Turner