Midweek Message, March 2, 2016

Yet even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart… Joel 2:12
My long-time mentor, Henri Nouwen, shares these words:
In my own life I well know how hard it is for me to trust that I am loved, and to trust that the intimacy I most crave is there for me. I most often live as if I have to earn love, do something noteworthy, and then perhaps I might get something in return.
This attitude touches the whole question of what is called in the spiritual life, the “first love.” Do I really believe that I am loved first, independent of what I do or what I accomplish? This is an important question because as long as I think that what I most need I have to earn, deserve, and collect by hard work, I will never get what I most need and desire, which is a love that cannot be earned, but that is freely given. 
Thus, my return (to the “first love”) is my willingness to renounce such thoughts and to choose to live more and more from my true identity as a cherished child of God.
May we live as fully as possible in the deep and profound knowledge that we are a cherished child of God. Amen.
1.     Good Friday worship will be at 7:00 pm
2.     Easter Cantata, March 26 at 4:30 and 7:00 pm
3.     Easter Worship will be at 8:30, 9:40, and 11:00 am
4.     Journeys of Paul Cruise, September 20, 2016, Italy Greece, Turkey. See Cliff for more information.