From a Pastor's Desk

A series of opinion articles from rostered ministers and lay leaders from our Synod.



Jan 04, 2021

By The Rev. Linda Bell, Program Chair of MNY ADLA 

The church is the church when it exists for others…Not dominating, but helping and serving. It must tell [everyone] of every calling what it means to live for Christ, to exist for others.Langston Hughes
Ubuntu: “I am because you are.African Philosophy
"Beloved children of our Savior, do not be weary in doing what is right."2 Thessalonians 3:13
In these unsettling times, it is important to remember we were all created in the image of God “Imago Dei.” We, God’s beloved, are the only thing God created in God’s image. Our God is a compassionate and loving God, and because we are made in the image of God, it is important that we reflect the unmerited love that has been bestowed on us to each other.
The meaning of the Ubuntu phrase reflects compassion, honesty, generosity, understanding, empathy, forgiveness, and the ability to share. These are the urgent things needed for our trying times of unrest, division, insecurity, hostility, and downright hatefulness and meanness. Bad, hurtful things are being done and said, but we must always speak out and do what we can to protect victims of racism, bigotry, malpractice, and systemic poverty no matter what else is going on. During this season of Epiphany, we are to reflect Your light. You are our God and we have no other place to turn than to You.
Let us pray, O heavenly God, You created heaven and earth, the stars, the moon, animals, vegetation of every kind and you entrusted all these things to our human care. Lord, we have not been faithful to the call you have given us. We love You, but we do not love our neighbor as ourselves. We have been complacent and unfaithful in sharing, loving, and caring for each other. Help us to wake up to answer the Holy Ghost Pentecostal call to boldly respect, care for and assist those in need. In our sinfulness we pray, asking for some of your dynamic power to change and turn around the things that have separated Your beloved children. Release the ties that bind us and help us to turn the hate to love, the mistrust to trust, the silence to speaking boldly for those who do not have a voice.
Help us Holy Spirit to live in a world that reflects Your love and Your light to care for each other. Hear our prayers most Holy One, and let the church say, Amen.