First I just want to say a huge thank you for embracing me as your artist in residence this month. This is my last Sunday and I have really enjoyed meeting all of you, having you in my workshops, and being inspired by your lives and the sermons.
This week Pastor Thompson encouraged us to get out of our own plans and move into God's plans.
Well this can be a hard process. And Lent is meant to facilitate this process in us. I am finding this corresponds with a lot of situations in my life right now where I am having to let go of a lot of my old ways of doing things, in exchange for new ones God is calling me to, and it feels like a type of destruction in me.
When it's time for a caterpillar to stop living its selfish life of eating, and become a butterfly which pollinates, and gives beauty to the world, it has to go through a very hard, destructive process. It enters a cocoon, or technically a chrysalis, and everything liquifies. But only by liquifying the old self can it begin to become its new self.
And just like pastor Ralph asked us to "get out" of our plans, I think God is calling us to surrender to the process let it do it's transformative work in us, and "get out" of our cocoons so we can go give that beauty and life to the world.
When I started this partnership, Pastor Ralph and the staff said one of the biggest ways I could help them was with branding that would show their main mission of "Go. Grow. and Show." Now on the screen you can see images for this. You can see here the first image which represents "Go." We are meant to see that after we are filled up with Christ's love we will GO out into the world with each other, bearing the fruit of the spirit God has grown in us.
Then you can see "Grow". I know that you have built a thriving garden here at the church and this is a wonderful metaphor for the growth that God is working in all of us. We water and tend to the seed God planted in us, and God works in us, until we are bearing his fruit. This is how we "grow."
And last week I told a story about how being obedient to God's plan over many years helps us grow into Oaks of Righteousness. So in this last image I mean to show that as a church you have grown into a thriving community, rooted deeply in love and built on years of steady growth in righteous until you have become lighthouses growing high and bright for the world to see, meant to SHOW God's light to this world, and draw all people to Him.
Again thank you for letting me spend this month with you. Pastor Thompson, it has been a joy and an honor. I have really enjoyed meeting all of you and thank you for supporting me. If you want to stay in touch or visit any of my ongoing workshops you can find all the information at my website RawSpoon.com. I'd love to stay in touch.