Pastor’s Column – Sep 2021

Pastor’s Column – Sep 2021

Greek: μένω, meno
English: Abide, dwell, remain

The Greek word μένω, pronounced meno, appears thirty-four times in the Gospel according to John, demonstrating its theological importance in that Gospel narrative. Simply put, μένω means to be with, to abide, to dwell, to remain with, and it is often used to describe one’s relationship with Christ. It is used throughout John, but most notably in John 15 where Jesus is the true vine. “I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” Those who find themselves united with Christ, will find their branches nourished and healthy, producing good works of love. When we are connected with Christ, we are affirmed and know God’s deep and abiding love with us. It is through this relationship that God through Christ knows each fear we face, and promises to stay by our side. This sense of peace is not to be kept for ourselves, but it is to pour over into the lives of all we meet.

We are called to drop our nets, and go places we don’t want to go. We are called to be with people we don’t want to be around. This can be uncomfortable work. In fact, if we are always comfortable with the gospel message and the ways of Christ, we should rightly question whether we are really μένω with Christ. In this work we use words like faith, trust, or believe, that point to a God that can’t be fully known, yet we sense that God’s work is always sustaining what God created and calls good.

On September 19th we will be celebrating Rally Day outside if the weather permits. You will also have the opportunity to fill out a survey about Grace UCC. What are your hopes? What are your concerns? How do you think Christ is calling us to love Lancaster? As we begin another year of church programming, and under the same conditions of Covid-19, how will we μένω with Christ this year? How will pause and become aware of Christ’s presence with us? How will this connection change us, and call us to new ways of being community?

Holy God, through Christ’s presence we feel your presence.
Through Christ’s embrace, we feel your arms holding us tight.

Help us to embrace you back,

Experiencing the peace and comfort of your love for us.
Give us hearts like yours, O God, so we can embrace others.


Blessings for your journey,
Pastor Keith