“God is Life” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

July 5th,2018 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Beloved Church,

I hope you are having an incredible week where you took notice of what brought your joy, what brought you rest, and what inspired you to be your best self. This Sunday will be another incredible week of worship and fellowship. Remember to check out all the graphics and invitations to join our different ministries. You are invited to participate in all of them!

Summer in New York is nothing like anything I have ever experienced. A normally bustling city, calms down as people go away for meetings, vacations, and everything in between. Even we as a community put certain ministries on a summer hiatus Which is why this week’s text is so timely. This week we are stepping into the Wisdom of Solomon and bringing into our lives Lady Wisdom and all the ways she inspires our daily faith journey.

…because God did not make death and does not delight in the death of the living. For God created all things so that they might exist; the generative forces of the world are wholesome, and there is no destructive poison in them, and the dominion of Hades is not on earth. For righteousness is immortal. (Wisdom of Solomon 1:13-15)

Time away from our daily routine can be a wonderful gift, but it can also be a space in which we seek reprieve from the parts of our lives we wish would go away, or to put it within the text to “die.” Things that are not life-giving become things that kill our spirit. And God did not make us for death, but to live. To live fully in our bodies, to live fully in our community, to live fully in creation. But things that are not life-giving are inevitable for us in this day and age. But so that we do not die in spirit, it is important to take care of ourselves.

We need to take care of ourselves by stepping into the greater world, a world that is generative and renewing to keep us alive. When we meet new people and hear their stories, our understanding of God widens and piques our curiosity about the expansive nature of God and creation. Wisdom tells us that the things on earth that are harmful, hateful, or destructive are not of God. This is talking about not only systems of oppression in our outer world, but also the deep spaces of our inner, spiritual, and emotional self. Taking care of ourselves means being honest about taking breaks and renewing our breath of life. But rest and time away from our routines does not mean we stop working on our faith journey. In fact, rest is a time when we should tune into our faith journeys the most.

Friends, whether you are traveling or staying put, having the time of your life or in a space of transition, know that this community is with you. Know that God is with you. Know that you are not alone, being prayed for and loved. I hope that you feel the presence of The Park on every next step of rest and generative renewal. Remember that God is all things that give you life.

Shalom Y’all.
Rev. Stephanie