Letter of Pastors – 10-8-17

Dear Friends,
I sat in my car Monday morning for almost a half hour just being quiet. I shut off the
radio. I turned off the news. I just sat in the silence of the morning and listened.
I listened for the calming voice of God.
Like many of you I had awakened that morning to the tragic news of the mass
shooting in Las Vegas. We were learning that over 50 people had lost their lives at
the hands of a lone gunman. I was shaken. I was sad. I was scared.
So I sat in the silence and I waited for a word from God. After sitting in the quiet of
morning, sitting with the questions, sitting with the pain, I found myself reaching into
the back seat and finding my Bible. It is the Bible I keep in the car. It has been with
me since college, in the days when I found myself coming back to the faith. I slowly
began to page through it until I landed in the place I needed to be that morning – in a
well-worn section of 1 John, Chapter 4.
Dear friends, let’s love each other, because love is from God, and
everyone who loves is born from God and knows God. The person who
doesn’t love does not know God, because God is love… There is no fear
in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear expects
punishment. The person who is afraid has not been made perfect in love.
And there it was – the reminder to choose love instead of fear.
I have to admit that at first that word was a bit jarring.
How can love alone change the world?
How can love alone offer us safety and protection?
How can love alone end all the division?
I wanted more. I wanted action. I wanted justice.
But I sat with God’s word that morning until slowly the message came through. Love
is active. Love creates justice. Only by risking the vulnerability of love are we truly
safe and secure.
That is one of things I love about you – the people of Royal Oak First. You are
committed to the ways of love, even in the face of hurt, pain, and violence.
Thank you for choosing love!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Jeff

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