Thursday, July 17, 2014

LAVISH LOVE - Camp Meeting Luncheon

“They said…‘Why waste the perfume? This perfume could have been sold for almost a year’s pay and the money given to the poor.’ And they scolded her. Jesus said, ’Leave her alone…She has done a good thing for me.’” (Mark  14:4-6)

Mark 14:1-9 tells the story of a time when, during a dinner hosted by Simon the leper for Jesus and his Disciples, a woman interrupted, bringing a jar of costly perfume, opened it, and poured it over Jesus’ head. Simon, the Disciples, and other guests were floored!  Didn’t she know how expensive that nard was, and that a much more efficient and beneficial use of it would have been to sell it and use the money to help the poor and needy?! If you know the story, then you also know that Jesus’ answer was equally surprising:  this woman has “done a good thing for me,” he said. “She has done what she could,” and that “wherever in the whole world the good news is announced, what she’s done will also be told in memory of her.”

This story illustrates the concept and practice of LAVISH LOVE – that there are times, places, and situations that sometimes call for us to go a bit overboard in our actions and behaviors in order to demonstrate love for others.  It illustrates that at times “ordinary” acts of love just won’t suffice – that we occasionally need to do extraordinary things in order to demonstrate our love (we sometimes refer to this as “going the extra mile.”)

Well, at about 12:15pm on Sunday, July 20th, our church will be sharing “lavish love” for our “spiritual parents” and partners in ministry at Marietta Campground by hosting a catered “old fashioned” picnic following our combined 11am worship Camp Meeting service across the street from our church. There will be fried chicken, mac and cheese, green beans, potato salad, dessert, drinks and all the “fixins” to enjoy. But most importantly, it will be an opportunity to get to know and interact with the tentholders of Marietta Campground as we help them celebrate 177 years of ministry! (For those who don’t already know, our church came out of Marietta Campground back in 1872, which makes them our “spiritual parent,” and we their 142-year old “spiritual child.”)

There may be some who say that our free hosting of this catered event is an exorbitant (or perhaps unnecessary) expense on our part. But your leaders and I disagree. Instead, we believe it to be one way we at East Cobb UMC can show “lavish love” for our Campground friends – a small way for us to say “thank you” and “we love you” to the ministry who spiritually “birthed” us as a congregation all those years ago.

So, whether or not you normally attend 11am worship at ECUMC, I hope that on Sunday, July 20th you will join us in worship celebrating our heritage and partnership under the arbor across the street at 11:00am, and then join us for our catered picnic following the service. Even Jesus commended occasional “lavish love” when it’s done in the right spirit – So I hope you’ll join me in sharing this at Camp Meeting on Sunday, July 20th! Remember that God loves you and I do, too!

(To find out more about all the services and events of Camp Meeting this year, visit their website HERE

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