“Commit to Listen: The Unexpected” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

May 30th,2019 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Church,

Happy June! It is one of my favorite months of the year and I am so happy it is here. We prayed together last Sunday about the joy of God and friends, I don’t know about you but I feel the joy of God abundant in the cookouts, the baptisms, the parades, and the people of June. This Sunday we hope you will join us for 10am Bible Study with Rev. Richard and be sure to mark your calendars for our Pride events happening at the end of the month. We have so much to be thankful for. We hope you will join us Sunday to celebrate and worship our God of great love and grace.

As many of you know I have two very large cats in my family named Physics and The Funk. The Funk weighs in at 29lbs and Physics is a tiny 22lbs. However, they weren’t always so large. They were found when they were a day old and came to live with me at 5 weeks. When they were kittens, they were so small that I used to lose them all the time. I even once found Physics in the wok on the stove fast asleep in the warmth of the pilot light. My favorite part of that age was that every night I would tuck them into their cat bed in the living room and by the morning, I would always wake up with two little kittens in the crook of my neck or next to my head on a pillow. I would wake up to the motor of their purrs and the warmth of their tiny little bodies doing their best to get as close to me as possible. I knew I loved them, but it wasn’t until this became a habit that I knew they loved me too and I began to see God at work in new and amazing ways through the care and love of these little creatures whose care had been entrusted to me.

It seems silly but I didn’t realize that cat care was so emotional. I thought it was about going through the motions of feeding them and keeping the litter clean. I didn’t realize that after 10 years, I wouldn’t sleep as well away from them. Or that I would trust their instincts when they stayed away from someone or really seemed to love someone. It reminded me, like today’s scripture that this life of faith is so much more than what we are supposed to do or see, as dictated by society. It Is also so much more than just going through the motions. It is about a relationship with God that starts in you. It may then bring you to a church and a community. It may even lead you back out into the streets. But the work we are called to do with God, to be a light on the path, and to not just go to church, but BE the church, is really what it means to be God’s people. A people with God in all we do. Let’s read together this week’s scripture that reminds us just that.

22 I saw no Temple in the city, for God Almighty and the
Lamb were themselves the Temple. 23 There was no sun or
moon: God’s glory was its light, and the Lamb was its lamp.
24 The nations will walk by the city’s light, and the rulers of
the earth will bring their treasures. 25 The city’s gates will
never be shut by day, and there will be no night there. 26 The
glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. (Rev 21:22-26)

Friends, like the sun, God is doing work in plain sight, showing you the glory of God’s creation, and calling you to join in the good news. Sometimes it’s a surprise, like looking at a mountain and realizing the mountain is actually the wildlife staring back at you. Sometimes it is listening to the stories of our community and finding the deeper and more vulnerable things that were said without being spoken. And sometimes it’s looking for the thing you think you are being shown, a temple, a cat, the moon, a community, and realize that it’s God pulling you close, reminding you that the work you are called to do is never done alone. God is always near, working with us, loving us into new ways of being.

Shalom Y’all,
Rev. Stephanie

A quick prayer for your week: God, Help me notice you in the unexpected.