by The Rev. Barbara Mraz
One pundit says that Americans are almost promiscuous in their overuse of the word love. We “love” our dog, our dinner, a season, a song, a place. Oh, and also our friends and family.
Yet how do you love when you are exhausted? When Covid is out there still menacing? When your heart is broken or when you feel helpless about the hourly tragedies in another part of the world? When you have been betrayed by a friend, a system you trusted, or your body?
This week’s Gospel is about Jesus’ charge to the disciples to love each other. We are told that God loves, us but how do we experience that? Does God love those in Ukraine? Does God love the Russians?
These are weighty questions and Sunday’s sermon will certainly not answer all of them, but I hope it will shed some light on how to think about them. We will also extend a gracious welcome to some new members!
Meanwhile, enterprising minds are creating a “brand” for Jesus. A group of people raised $100 million to put a series of commercials in prime time aimed at Generation Z to introduce them to Jesus. There’s an example below. I think they are beautifully produced but is this brilliant or tacky? Is it effective evangelism or a waste of time and money? Do these ads do what the church tries to do– only better? Or are they kind of an embarrassment?
And why does it matter?
See you in church.