Summer is finally here, and it seems that our weather is giving us a new look at what it means to be “Strange and Warm.” The definition of strange is “unusual, surprising and unsettling.” There were so many days when we moved from rainy to cold and back to rain again. The sunshine coming through my window as I write this letter seems both strange and warm. That’s our sermon series to kick off the summer; it comes from John Wesley’s journal and his experience with God where his heart is “strangely warmed.” God’s love does surprise us; it is unsettling to us. We are surprised because God’s love finds us in our pain, in our loneliness and even in our questioning and uncertainty. That kind of love will often surprise us, but at the same time, it will warm our hearts. The love of God is real; it is authentic, and it is unconditional.
On Sunday, we will look at what it means for us to take that kind of love out into the world. We will look at the scripture from Romans that reminds us God is not interested in “pretend love.” God calls us to real, authentic love.
If you were around the church any night this week, you could hear the sounds of more than 70 children going “To Mars and Beyond.” It was VBS week here at Royal Oak First. I stood among the children one night as they gathered. It was clear to me why Jesus said we need to come to God like children. Children are authentic. When they are sad, they cry. When something is funny, they laugh (and when it is not… they don’t.)
We will hear from the children this weekend. They will share some of the songs and lessons from the week. Be prepared; it might be a little strange (surprising and unsettling), but it is sure to warm your heart.
Grace and Peace,