Tuesday, July 11, 2006

July 12 - Word & Way Article

In the past few weeks our church has been preparing for our recently celebrated 85th anniversary. I hope you were able to take part in the festivities; I know many long-past friendships were rekindled. As I have prepared for the celebration I have also been reading Gilead, by Marilynne Robinson. This book, written as a series of letters from a third-generation minister John Ames to his son who is still a child, won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2005. This main character spends much of the book in reflection and observation, and it has been a gift to me during the time when we were all preparing to reflect.

Have you been challenged by the stories of the sacrifice and dedication of those who have come before? I know I have been. I have been reminded of, or in many cases enlightened to, the heroes and heroines of the past for Southwest Baptist Church. Of course, heroes and heroines are still made today. God takes the best of who we are and does miraculous things – when we are willing servants. One of the profound truths of the character of John Ames is his discovery of the heroic greatness of existence as a servant of God. I believe our two most recent recipients of the Southwest Baptist Life Service Award illuminate this truth as well. May someday the same be said of each of us…

Grace and peace,
James

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