WILBRAHAM UNITED CHURCH

500 MAIN STREET

WILBRAHAM, MA 01095


(413)596-2511

BE THE CHURCH

This summer, as some of you may have noticed, new banners have been hung in our sanctuary and on our lawn facing Main Street. If you haven’t taken the time to look at them yet, I would invite you to read them and reflect on them during worship or – after you park! – out in the summer breeze. I have found them to be beautiful, a burst of bold color in our sanctuary. My eye is drawn to the rainbow that reminds us of God’s promise of love for all people and all creation, but to the words that are also written on them. Those words have stood out as an opportunity and a challenge for me as, both as a disciple of Christ and as your pastor. The very top of the banner says: BE THE CHURCH. As Christians and members of Wilbraham United Church, we are the church. We are members with one another of this congregation. We are members of the United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church. We are members of the Body of Christ, together with all the faithful in all time and all places. We are a part of the work and witness of Jesus Christ in the world, to the world, and for the world. We are the church, when we gather in worship on Sunday mornings, singing and praying and praising together. We are the church, when we seek to deepen our relationship with God and one another, discerning and learning and understanding together. We are the church, when we reach out to one another and to the community, listening and serving and loving together. We are the church, when we hear and see, walk and talk, live and love, together. But what does it mean to BE THE CHURCH for us, in this time and at this place? What does it mean to BE THE CHURCH in at 500 Main St, in Wilbraham, in our homes and in our lives? What could it mean and what should it mean to BE THE CHURCH here and now? Uncovering the answers to those questions, individually and as a congregation, requires us to look within our hearts, to look at our scriptures and our traditions, and to look at the world around us. It requires us to open our ears and our eyes and our hearts to what, where, and whom God is calling us. It requires devoting our time and our talent and our treasure to living out that calling. And it will require a great deal of faith and trust in God and in one another. We will have to trust that we can be made strong enough, courageous enough, and wise enough, to walk together with God, and follow in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. We will have to trust that God can use our lives and our stories to reveal God’s peace, justice, and love to the world, even as the world struggles with war, and violence and hatred. That is both our challenge and our opportunity as members in the Body of Christ. That is our call as followers of Christ. That is our hope for the world, as testified by Christ. Trusting in God, leaning on Christ, listening for the Holy Spirit, we can BE THE CHURCH that God wants us to be and that the world needs us to be. Blessings, Chip