19 May Pastor’s Paragraph for May 23, 2021
MAY 23, 2021
Mother Teresa was a Roman Catholic nun who worked in the slums of Calcutta, India, for most of her adult life. Until her death 24 years ago, she was venerated as a powerful witness to the Christian faith. In a book entitled Finding Calcutta, the author, Mary Poplin, talks about the time she spent with Mother Teresa in 1996 and how it influenced her life. Poplin’s journey gives us an inside glimpse into one of the most influential Christian lives of the twentieth century and the lessons that the Mother continues to offer to those who follow Christ. Another religious scholar, Phyllis Tickle, says about Poplin’s book, “In this poignant, humble memoir, Poplin gives us far more than … another Mother Teresa story. She gives us instead the Jesus and the Christianity that operated through Mother Teresa.” Mother Teresa herself said, “Find the sick, the suffering and the lonely right where you are…. You can find Calcutta all over the world, if you have eyes to see.”
The Roman Catholic Church was the community of faith that nurtured Mother Teresa, called her and anointed her as a nun, and sent her to her ministry in Calcutta. The Christian Church became the family that supported her and sustained her many years as a nun. Her call came through the Church, her support came through the Church, her growth came through the Church, and her moments of struggle were worked out through the daily disciplines of her Church. Without the Church, there would have been no Mother Teresa.
I feel strongly that, without the Church, there would be no living examples of what it means to be a follower of Christ. Every Christian mentioned in the New Testament, and that’s a lot, had a strong connection with a specific local church. The same is true in church history: every gifted Christian received his calling within the community of a specific church.
The Church from which I retired in Mohnton, PA, had a parish nurse whose strong witness touched more lives than we will ever know. June Horning’s life taught all of us what it means to be a “kind” Christian, and she would tell you quickly that the local Church was her extended family, the group that nurtured her, called her, and helped her to grow as a follower of Christ. Galatians 5:22-23 reminds us that the “fruit of the Spirit” is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. How does one acquire these fruit? No great mystery to that! In the fellowship of a Christian Church.
We care about your spiritual journey. Whether you struggle with the concept of faith, you’re new to believing in God’s transformational power in your life or you have been following Jesus for years, we want to equip you to take the next step with Jesus on your spiritual journey. Join our First Step class to get started. Contact Pastor Jenny at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Rev. Dr. Jack Grove
New Members Ministry