Dear Members and Friends,
Being kind to yourself is may be more difficult than being kind to others.
The Scriptures' core message, from both the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible, is love for God and others. As difficult as these mandates are for every person -- which we can not do well apart from God's grace -- it can be even more challenging, this kindness and mercy to ourselves. Often, the last person I am able to extend compassion for is me.
A Biblical truth is that we have all sinned, each and every one of us. This leads us to believe the last person we should be kind to is ourselves. What does 'being kind to yourself' look like?
Sitting down, doing nothing other than being aware of our own lives and the presence of God with us is being kind to yourself. Knowing we truly did the best we could, given our DNA and how we were raised. Rather than blaming ourselves for being lazy or just plain stupid, let us also rest in God's grace by saying, in thankful humility, I did the best I could.
Guilt is what we feel for doing a specific wrong. Shame is what we feel for simply being here. Shame is not doing a wrong, it is being unworthy no matter what we do.
May we find a time each day to be good to ourselves; to leave shame behind; to be at peace with who we are; to be grateful without dwelling on what we have not done. Let us strive to be good to others, but also let us move forward by being good to ourselves.
Back to the Future
There was a popular science fiction comedy movie about thirty years ago, Back to the Future, starring Michael J. Fox. In it, he time-travelled back into his past to meet his parents in their youth, and to make sense out of where he was going.
So, too, in our Christian faith, we look back for guidance and spiritual fulfillment as we move forward. Here at Kenwood Community Church, we similarly gather strength from those who have come before and periodically it is both fitting and inspirational to remember those in our congregation who contributed so much while they were with us and have since passed. Please join us immediately after church on Sunday, May 15 to dedicate our new memorial wall in the garden that was constructed with caring and commitment by Bob and Linda Salomon.
We want to honor all former members of the congregation who have died within the last five years. If any of those are your family members and you would like a bronze plaque included in the wall in their memory, please let me know. Similarly, if there is a memorial plaque currently elsewhere on church property and you would like it moved to the new memorial wall, please let me know.