My sisters and brothers in Christ:
When the world gets dark and lonely, Jesus’s love illuminates!
That’s a line from a song in this year’s St. John’s Church Vacation Bible School, “Cave Quest.” VBS starts on Sunday afternoon and runs through Thursday. With preparations still underway, we will not offer a service today (Saturday, June 18). Worshiping at 8 and 10 a.m. on the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, we’ll get a tantalizing peek inside the magnificent Cave Quest set. If you’ve signed up to bring something for VBS, we need it Sunday, please! Thanks to all who have donated and volunteered.
On Sunday, we’ll hear Luke’s story about Jesus’s encounter (in what some experts call Gentile country) with a profoundly troubled, conflicted man, one seemingly plagued by multiple personalities. Imprisoned by his demons, he dwelt not among the living but with the remains of the dead in the tombs, which were probably hollowed-out caves in the hills near town.
Talk about a cave quest. Talk about dark and lonely.
The townspeople had probably long since given up on him. Wouldn’t you have? Jesus’s light is irresistible, so the story had a happy ending (except for the pigs. Remember the pigs?). But the obvious question — after Orlando, because of the violence in Syria and Iraq, in the face of bigotry and terrorism, with the darkness always lurking in the tombs at the edge of town — the question is where Jesus’s light is today.
The glaringly obvious answer: In the body of Christ. In the faithful. In me. In you.
Our friend the Rev. Phil DeVaul, rector of St. John the Divine in Costa Mesa, put it like this last week: “We may not be able to make a perfect world or country, but we can damn well be more serious about spreading love.” Which St. John’s people (in Costa Mesa and Rancho Santa Margarita) do every day and every week: At VBS, at the food pantry, at Isaiah House, at Laundry Love, during worship, in every ministry they perform in and outside our church, at work, at home — even just by giving ourselves a break, by not judging ourselves quite so relentlessly or letting ourselves feel not good enough, by speaking and acting kindly, forbearingly , and righteously whenever we can.
Yours in Christ’s love,
P.S.: Thanks to Cindy and Sandy in the church office, who #spreadsomelove with everything they do to support all our ministries.
P.P.S.: The Twentysomethings (if you think you’re one, you’re one) gather on Monday, June 20 at 6 p.m. at Selma’s (in the Lowe’s Center, near church) to #spreadsomelove, eat some dinner, and do some brainstorming about the summer. For more information, write Kathy O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org.