Last Sunday in worship we read 1 Peter 2:2-10. In these verses Peter is urging us to be transformed into children of God and the only way this can happen, he says, is if we come to understand who we are. He goes on with an image of stones being built into God’s temple. Jesus is the living stone in whom we have believed and where we have found hope and Jesus is also the cornerstone rejected by some, but still the beloved son of God. This is important for us because our Christian identity means that we are now the living stones which will become God’s temple. When we know who we are, it can change everything.
Melba Pattillo Beals was a 17 year old African American girl in Little Rock, Arkansas when she and eight other students integrated Central High School in 1957. Most of you know the story--segregationists defied the Supreme Court’s edict to integrate and attempted to halt integration. The African American students, known as the Little Rock Nine, experienced tremendous adversity as they worked to be accepted by the white majority.
Melba Beals was motivated to continue the fight for integration by her wise grandmother who said, “We are. . .God’s ideas and you must strive to be the best of what God made you.” Beals Grandma India gave her granddaughter the gift of identity.
She affirmed that, as a young black woman, she was “God’s idea.” When I think of each of you I think of you as “God’s Ideas” – beloved daughters and sons of God, ideas from the very heart of God. Thanks be to God.
On Easter Sunday we led a worship service at a Residential Re- Entry Center staffed by Volunteers of America. Prisoners who have good behavior may be sent there to finish out their sentences. To qualify they must get a job and live in the center. The director talked with us about coming regularly and we have offered to come lead a service once a month at 9:00 am on Sunday mornings. Any Bread member who wants to participate must go through the VOA
volunteer process. Please let Jorene or Charlie know if you want to participate in this ministry.