The Pastor's Peace - August, 2018
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As many of you know, one of our church members recently competed in the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle and won a gold medal playing with the Ohio team in the softball competition. When he showed off his medal to the church, I’m sure it was such a great feeling to have the church be so happy for his accomplishment. We sure were proud and it was a great example of people coming together to lift up and give thanks for our joys and blessings. I think that the Special Olympics is truly a fantastic organization. Started by Eunice Kennedy Shriver in 1968, as an expansion of a camp she had organized in the early 60s, the Special Olympics has grown from an event with 1,000 athletes held in Chicago, to a global partnership of organizations providing over 100,000 events a year for 5 million athletes across 172 countries. All of this came from Eunice’s belief that physical activity and participating in sports was crucial for those with mental disabilities.

There was a time when such things would never be considered. Anyone with disabilities, mental or otherwise, was given little respect or opportunities. When I think of the ministry of Jesus, I think about all of the people that Jesus went to and spent his time with. He helped the disabled, the poor, the outcast, children, the elderly, foreigners, sinners, and everyone else who was deemed unimportant by their society at the time. To Jesus these people were very important; they were his brothers and sisters, and children of God.

This is an important lesson for us to remember. Everyone is important, and everyone has something to offer the world in the eyes of God. I think of all of the wonderful accomplishments of those participating in the Special Olympics, of how they are given a stage to exhibit their great worth, and I think that this is the type of work Christ has called us to do. All of us go through the world and are given opportunities to share God’s love and encouragement with those who need it. If we simply care for and about others, we can truly help create positive change in the world.

Whether our work lifts up over 5 million people like Eunice Kennedy Shriver, or it lifts up just one, any work done for the love of another is worthwhile. Working together, we can help each other realize our full potential as the beautiful creations of God that we all are.

Peace and Blessings,
Pastor Brian