In Ecclesiastes 11.1 we read, “Cast your bread upon the waters, and after many days you will find it again (NIV).” It seems all too frequently we cast our bread on the waters only to find soggy bread, fit for nothing. Yet, this writer would encourage us to continue to cast our bread because sometimes it comes back multiplied. It’s not always soggy. The late Lee Iacocca once opined that “only 1% of advertising has any affect. The problem? There’s no way to know which 1%!”
So, we continue to cast our bread regularly and faithfully. This week I received a letter from a man who was raised in our congregation. He was baptized here, participated in the Scout Troop, graduated from Van Horn and UMKC, and ultimately found his way to California where he made his life. He was in town with his spouse and other family members to re-visit his childhood.
He took the time to write me a letter because as he drove by the church, he had to pull over and simply look…at the Rainbow flag “proudly (his word)” flying in front of our building. He wrote that he was “gobsmacked” by the sight. See, according to the letter, he realized at about age 12 that he was gay, and there was simply no place for him to be himself. To discover his childhood congregation actively welcoming and accepting all people (he noted the “ALL MEANS ALL” on our sign), regardless of sexuality was simply a thing of beauty. He wondered in the letter how his life might have been different had he been exposed to a reconciling NBUMC (my term).
He concluded his letter by declaring that he is glad kids today have a place where they can be affirmed for simply being themselves.
I give thanks to God for this affirmation of our ministry. We have no idea what influence we have in our community We have no idea what will happen to our bread when we cast it on the water. Sometimes, we’re reminded in no uncertain terms that we are called to continue to cast our bread and be witness to the inclusive love of God at NBUMC. I have no doubt that we are influencing the cosmos through our effort.
This Sunday is Pentecost as we celebrate the birth of the church from Acts 2.1 ff. We will examine what it looks like to “Undo Pentecost.” We have much to do Sunday, we have much to do moving forward. I am overjoyed to labor in God’s field next to you all.
See you Sunday,