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Greetings from Pastor Lee Barstow

May, 2024

Dear LCC Community,

During Eastertide, which lasts from Easter until Pentecost Sunday (May 19 this year), a lot of our scheduled scripture readings focus on the foundational importance of love. For instance, the Gospel reading for this coming Sunday (John 15:9-17) picks up where last week’s left off, in Jesus’ final instruction, including, “Love one another as I have loved you.”

 

He is not talking about emotional love, but rather love as a verb… as loving action… as an essential force for good living. We bear witness day after day to the suffering caused by the absence of loving action. It hurts us when we are able to open our hearts and share the pain—the definition of “compassion.” We grieve… and we yearn for leaders and others to make decisions that will ease the suffering, which is to say that we yearn for more loving action.

 

It can be very hard to keep our hearts open, because the pain may seem too great, or because we can’t imagine making a difference. And yet compassion does kindle the healing we need, even if only a little. When we allow ourselves to feel compassion, something shifts. We may not see it, but our love takes root and sends out tendrils of loving action. It may be as modest as being motivated to call a friend we know is hurting, or it may be something larger. Regardless, we can be sure that any loving action makes a difference. Love begets love.

 

I heard a woman speak last week whose unspeakable grief led her to devote her life to cultivating love. She is Scarlett Lewis, and she lost her six -year-old son Jesse in the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut just before Christmas in 2012.

This is our Easter story. No matter how deep our suffering, even unto death, love still lives. And when we put it into action, healing happens. May it be so for us. Amen.

 

Peace and blessings,

Lee

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