Greetings from the Moderator MAY 2019
Whenever a special someone or something goes missing, an all-points bulletin (APB) is issued in an effort to find that precious person or special belonging. This notice is distributed far and wide in hopes that someone will see the one or thing that is missing. The best case scenario yields positive results and that child or parent, pet or personal item is returned to their loved one.
On that that first Easter morning, while it was still dark, Mary went to the tomb and the body of Jesus was gone. She ran to Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and, in essence, put out an APB. Jesus, the One who loved her and cared for her, was gone. The very thought of losing him again left her grappling with grief. In the midst of her sorrow and confusion, Jesus showed up, spoke her name and gave her a message to share with the others.
“I have seen the Lord!” is the testimony of the first evangelist and the disciples after the resurrection of Jesus. When Jesus called out to weeping Mary, she declared, “I have seen the Lord!” When Jesus appeared behind locked doors to fearful disciples, they declared, “I have seen the Lord!” When invited to breakfast on the beach, the disciple whom Jesus loved, declared, “I have seen the Lord!” I, too, have seen the Lord!
I saw the Lord at the bedside of my dying grandmother, in the person of my mother, who served as a visible demonstration to grandma that her Lord was with her, even in the valley of the shadow of death. I saw the Lord, in the women and men at Washington Shores Presbyterian Church and Hope at Lake Nona, as they walked and worked together in an effort to amplify and embody the truth that God's love and justice are for all. I have seen the Lord in the work of Sandra and Roland Fumes and Jill Bolander and the Lifeboat Project in providing care and healing for the vulnerable children of God.
I have seen the Lord in the work of the Central Florida Presbytery’s Mission Outreach to the people of Central Florida, Madagascar, Guatemala and Nicaragua, providing food and training to people and farmers, as a reminder that the Lord is present to provide the needs of those who are hungry and hurting. I have seen the Lord in the work of the ministry of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and the Presbyterian Mission Agency and in the presence of ordinary people who help to rebuild the lives of people who struggle to see God in the midst of their varying set of circumstances.
Today, many have difficulty seeing the Lord. The evil present in church bombings, racism, discrimination, family separation and political posturing, in and out of the Church, has prevented people from seeing the Lord and experiencing the love that the Lord gives.
"Have you seen the Lord? If you have, I encourage you to tell others, so that they, too, may see; and, perhaps, believe"