Ruidoso, NM is a family favorite get-a-way destination. Laura and I look forward to a few days away in mid November with my parents. The elevation and the proximity to Sierra Blanca provide refreshment and renewal. The scheduled routines give way to whatever the day brings: a day hike, time at our favorite coffee shop, picnics in wooded park areas, dominoes around the condo, or a drive in the mountains.
The first day of Fall makes me think of times past on wilderness outings, on scouting camp outs, with family on vacation to the mountains. The season changes and with it a mindset. At least for this pastor, seasons are a big deal. Growing up in South Texas, the seasonal change in weather is insignificant during most years. But every once in a while, a colder or wetter than normal season comes along.
Just as there are weather seasons, we can also expect seasons of the soul. Extra dry times when distance from God or neighbor seems extended. Extra savory times when the taste of bread and wine draw us into communion and community.
I pray for you today my soul friend. And in that prayer may we be united in grace and called with hope to a season of joy and waiting. As we wait on the coming and going of Christ among us, let us be renewed in the love of God given freely in the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
In the blessings of this day, with much love and many thanks, I give thanks for you and ask blessings to be with your families.
Along the Way
Come Build Community With Us!
A powerful moment in the gathered community is shown in this photo. Our Communion Servers at the 8:30 am worship service receive of the Lord's Table, then serve others who come to receive in God's grace in Jesus Christ.
As pastor I am set-apart to preside in the "administration" of the sacrament by leading the Great Thanksgiving, by praying and consecrating the bread and juice, and then by serving the servers. It is my role to facilitate Communion and to equip the laity to serve in the mission and ministry of Jesus.
What happens when the community shares in the Lord's Supper is an outcome of the communion they share. The grace of Christ transforms Communion into Community. The group becomes one with Christ and one with the world redeemed by Christ.
We want you to come and share at the table of the Lord with us. We want you to be a part of this communion and this community! The table is open for all who seek to love Jesus and who choose to live in peace with one another.
This week Sep 17, we will be reading from the gospel story found in Matthew 18: 21-35. It is a story about forgiveness. We hear Jesus teaching that forgiveness works much like what I have described above with communion and community. In receiving forgiveness in Christ, we are empowered to forgive others and ourselves in the grace and mercy of God.
Christ creates community from communion when we choose to live in peace with one another. Christ provides forgiveness to us when we choose to forgive others. Just as we are called to serve from the grace we receive at the table of the Lord, we are also given the opportunity to receive forgiveness in the process of forgiving others.
I believe our community is made stronger in the communion we share. I am confident that we also will be made more like Christ when we practice forgiveness.
Come and Build Community With Us!
Much love and many blessings!
Along the Way with Pastor Paul
Author: Paul E Harris
Journal posts from a pastor and spiritual friend