Sunday, June 26, 2016

First Love, Love First

First Lutheran Church, Taylors Falls, this morning
Today Toni, Naomi and I went up to visit the church we served in Taylors Falls from 1992-2005. I so much enjoyed seeing and talking with many friends and former neighbors, people who had invited me (and us) into their lives in a relatively intimate way for many years.

I am so thankful to have had the chance today to go back up there, and for the invitation that was extended to us and to other "former pastors" (we were the only pastor's family able to make it). There was no special event (other than a mid-summer outdoor potluck), no introduction of "the Thorsons" as anyone special, and, thank God, I wasn't asked to take any leadership role. The only time I was up front was when I walked up during the last song to snap this picture on my old phone.

I want to write more about this day and some of the thoughts and feelings surrounding it, but right now my heart is just filled with love for the people in the picture above, and for many others who were not there today. My feelings for the dear ones in that community are matched by those I have in my heart for those in Ladysmith, Glen Flora and Cokato. The love that God pours into our hearts surpasses understanding, and overcomes doctrinal squabbles, and leaps us over any uncomfortable past hurts that any of us may have suffered (or inflicted upon one another). We're all incomplete, we all fail, and none of us has a full picture of God's truth. So we stand, together, in the love of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, One God, now and forever.

The current president of the TF church, Don Hansen, had been on a mission trip with the youth recently. The youth and their leaders shared some things that they remembered from the week, and then Don spoke of the temporary tattoo that he had on his arm with the theme of the Youth Works camp on it. That theme was "First Love," but Don said, that when he looked at it on his arm, it said "Love First." I like that. When in doubt, just love. A good lesson for all.

There are a lot more things to say about the morning and about what is going on in my head and heart, but at the moment it's time to take care of some other things.

God's peace to you all.

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