Love and Joy!

Love and Joy!

Reading time: two minutes. Bruce was sitting with us on Little League Night at the minor league ballpark. “Check your ticket number,” the announcer said, “to win a $1,000 college scholarship.” After the number was read, Bruce jumped up and shouted, “It’s me!” and headed toward the field. Yeah, right. It was the kind of stunt he often pulled on us. Except this time it was true. It was him! The fruit of the Spirit is love, and the object of God’s priceless gift of love is you. Church workers share that promise with others countless times through the year, but should never forget that we need to hear the message also, especially during those times when the joy of ministry is getting sucked right out of us.  Some years ago, the National Youth Gathering “Called to Be” had as its theme verse Romans 1:6, “And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.”  During one of the preparatory Bible studies, the kids in our youth group turned as one and said to me,Pastor Z, you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.”  They said it to me because it was in the instructions for the Bible study, but I remember the impact it had on me. My former confirmation students, whom I had invited to confirm their faith in Christ, (and some of whom I may well have baptized), were reminding me of God’s baptismal love, His love to me. It made my day. It’s a powerful thing to remember that, in the words of my buddy Bruce, “It’s ME!” If joy is seeing the beauty of Christ at work in the word and at work in my life, then remembering that “It’s me” is pure joy.  What do you do for baptismal renewal throughout the course of your day? Do you splash a little water around when you’re standing at the sink and remember, “It’s me!”?  Do you write your own name into a Bible verse, “For God so loved me…” or another favorite, and remember “It’s me!”? Do you make the sign of the cross on your forehead and on your heart and remember that the Church on earth and the angels in heaven heard it when your name was called at your baptism, and think to yourself,“It’s me!”? Do you see the picture of Christ the Good Shepherd with the little lamb in His arms, point to the little guy nestled into the safest place in the universe and remember, “It’s me!”? Michael Corleone said, “It’s not personal; it’s business.” The Godfather was wrong. God, your Father, was right. It is personal. The grace and love of Jesus Christ is for you.  Go ahead and say it: “It’s me!” You win!  Thanks for reading. Our ministry is made possible by the generous donations of people just like you. Click here to discover how simple it is to make your gift of any size to Grace Place Wellness. Do you know someone who might be interested in becoming a major benefactor to sponsor a retreat in your area? Our President/CEO Randy Fauser would love to hear from you today!