We were in our backyard doing weeding and trimming of hedges. Our neighbors were out in their yard working while their two young girls were playing. The girls love to visit with us and especially play with our dog, Zeke. We do our best to look out for each other: we try remember the girls on their birthdays, and they look after our cats when we are away.
On this evening the dad, Ken, called me over to tell me what his youngest had said. Lexi, not yet three, announced to her dad that she really liked us, starting with our dog, Zeke, and then me. Then she scanned the yard and inquired, “Where is the little girl?”
“Who’s that?” asked her dad.
“Lelany, the little friend who lives there.”
Gee whiz…I had liked Lexi up until then. Then I liked her more!
She saw something in us…something kind and joyful, something warm and welcoming. She may have gotten the arrangement of our household a little mixed up, not realizing that “Lelany” was actually my wife- and old enough to be so! But she caught the spirit of our home…and the Spirit in our home. That is actually what we prayed for when we moved into our house in Scott Township – that it would be a place of grace, that others would see and experience God’s grace in us. Lexi did, as did her big sister.
Oh, that others would see that in us! You included! Oh, that they would see the love of God in us: our coworkers and classmates, our neighbors and friends, our families and the folks at the stores and restaurants. And, oh yes, those who enter the place called Bethany Presbyterian Church.
Jesus commanded, “Love one another as I have loved you,” and he promised that our joy would be “complete” as we did so. May you and all of us love others with the heart of Jesus. May we do that in our homes and neighborhoods, our schools and places of work. May we do that at Bethany…and experience the joy of the Lord.
Lelany and I sure did.
See you on Sunday,
Tomorrow, Sunday, is Youth Sunday. I am so excited for the youth to share this worship with you. Please come and enjoy the worship of the Lord on Sunday, May 20. You will be blessed.