Giving & Receiving…
Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” (John 13:34)
As a pastor, I’m privileged to witness many compelling life stories. This past weekend, I participated in worship that included celebrating the lives of pastors who were retiring. I was particularly moved by the words of Pastor Clayton Smith who served with God in 50 years of ministry.
Clayton served here with the body of Christ known as Schweitzer in the 1980s and early 1990s. Rather than speaking of all that he had done or accomplished over his long and distinguished “career,” Clayton spoke of what he received. In the crucible of life, suffering the loss of wife and mother of 2 young children, the people of Schweitzer ministered to him, his kids. At a time when he was hurting most, this experience of love clearly impacted and sustained him.
Every day we do life together, pastors and people, we have the opportunity to love deeply. We have the privilege of seeing each other through this life with the hope and assurance of the next.
When Clayton arrived at Schweitzer, he had no idea what lay ahead. But it was clear what he found; deep, unconditional, sacrificial love that propelled him forward to another 30+ years of ministry. He would give what he received—the love of Christ.
I know I speak for my colleagues when I say it’s the love of Christ planted in you impacting our community, each other and “your pastors” that makes all the difference. Christ lives in us to love and care for each other; this love and care propels us forward to love and impact our community too.
Keep giving and receiving…the world is hurting…we are so much more together!
Pastor Jim Mason