Message from Pastor Luke...........

As many of you know, Donna and I became empty nesters this year. It is quite a transition to go from full-time parent to, well, “what do we do now?” We were able to fend it off for a little while during the first year of the Covid pandemic, but the time eventually came to for all of our children to launch out on their own. Sure, we keep a bed ready for any one of them to come home (and a couple of air mattresses). We anticipate a stay here and there. Still, for all intents and purposes, Donna and I are back where we began: it’s just the two of us. 

I didn’t spend much time reflecting on being an empty nester until recently. To be honest, I was kind of looking forward to it (sorry, not sorry if you’re reading this, kids). Now that it’s been a couple of months, I find myself missing the hectic lifestyle of family life a little bit. It’s actually been difficult to settle into a calm, predictable home life. I guess that I’m not used to it. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking for complete chaos, but a little unpredictability would be nice from time to time. I guess I am now officially reflecting on this new reality. 

Here’s what I’ve come up with: love is portable. We send our love with our children. They are wrapped in it as they navigate a life that is completely new to them. Our challenge is to balance our impulse to get involved in their lives too much. They each need space to emerge as adults. Through all of it, I know my love is with them and, more importantly, they know it too. All those times of making sure they were up in the morning, fed, and on the bus is now morning prayers and a good morning text. Instead of going to their plays, concerts, and sporting events, we plan occasional visits (but not too many). Instead of daily conversations around the dinner table, we have bi-weekly family chats via Zoom and we are all just a phone call or text away for one-on-one conversations. When we get extra lonely for them, we pull out a photo album and reminisce. Sure, it’s not the same, but it is still love and we are still connected. Most importantly, I know they are going to be OK. They are becoming… 

All of this reminds me that Jesus sent his love with us when he left the earth. In this scenario, we are like the children launched into the world. If you really think about it, that’s what a disciple is, an emerging adult. We go into the big, scary world and we try to do our best, remembering all the things he taught us. Though we mess up from time to time, we know that we are never alone. The love and support of Christ are with us. We check-in with him during worship, prayer, and scripture reading. Prayer is like calling him or sending a text message. When we gather in worship, his Holy Spirit connects us all together, like a Zoom call. When we read scripture, it’s like looking at a photo album or reading a love letter. We are all doing our best to love and honor God and neighbor, just like he said we should. We are growing and learning what it means to be his beloveds. We might not always get it right, but we keep trying because we know that his undying love is with us. This is why we strive to be our best selves day in and day out. Jesus is the source of all love. Love is portable. Now send your love into the world.