Dear Glen Mar friends,
Last week I had the privilege of leading the first Chapel of the year in our Early Learning Center. As much as I enjoy Glen Mar's worship on Saturdays and Sundays, there's nothing quite like singing "This Little Light of Mine" with a group of 80+ kids, ages four and under, who can barely contain their "NOOOO!!!" when you ask them if they're going to hide their light under a bushel.
They're a great reminder to me that it's a joy to let your light shine--to share the gifts God has placed within you and to light up the world with love, compassion, and generous acts of service. Hide it under a bushel? Why, ask any four-year-old in our ELC, and they'll answer you as if that's the most absurd thing they've ever heard. Of course we're gonna let our light shine. A light that doesn't shine has forgotten who it is!
This weekend is Mission Weekend at Glen Mar, and in worship we'll be continuing our Covenant series by remembering together who we are. Jesus said we're the light of the world (Matthew 5:14). In Genesis, we're reminded that as God's covenant people, we're blessed so that we might bless others (Genesis 12:2).
Blessed to be a blessing. It's more than just an idea. It's an identity, and it's our identity as baptized Christians--one we take very seriously at Glen Mar! A church that doesn't exist to bless others? Why, that's as absurd as a light that won't shine!
This weekend we'll have the chance to hear some of the many ways our Glen Mar family is living into its identity to be a blessing. But in case you can't wait, here's just one example:
Back in August we collected donations so that we could bless neighbors at Veteran's Elementary School. Many of you decorated cards or wrote notes of encouragement, and through your generosity, we were able to assemble 50 baskets of classroom supplies and 80 notes stuffed with gift cards for the teachers and staff at Veteran's. Pastors Mandy, Anna and I had the privilege of delivering these on your behalf to a very surprised office staff on September 12! Here are just a few notes we've received in the last couple of days--just a glimpse of the ways that you, Glen Mar, are a blessing. (Click here for a higher resolution version of the letter from Principal Bruce.)
As you go about your day, know this: You are created in the image of the God who is Love, chosen and loved beyond all imagining, and blessed--so that you might be a blessing. And the next time you have a choice between letting your light shine or hiding it under a bushel, I hope you'll channel your inner preschooler (and the help of the Holy Spirit) and let it shine with abandon.