Palm Sunday and the Passion of the Christ. The readings this Sunday take us from the highest of highs- Jesus riding into Jerusalem and being greeted as the King He is, to the lowest of lows- Christ crucified. That’s quite a journey to take in one morning.
There are many lessons we can take from these readings: redemption, humility, trust, obedience, faith. The one I’d like to consider today is the lesson of transformation.
The Cambridge Dictionary defines transformative as “causing a major change to something or someone, especially in a way that makes it or them better”. Jesus’s death was nothing if not transformational. So what are we called to do with the transformative power of Jesus’s sacrifice? How are we individually called by God to transform our own lives? How are we called by God to transform the lives of others? How is COS, the body of Christ in San Gabriel, CA, called to transform our little corner of His world?
I believe COS has been in the business of transforming lives since its founding in 1867. Throughout this celebratory year of our 150th anniversary, we have seen many examples of this. But more recently, say, since 1985, COS has been in the business of transforming lives by providing life-sustaining programs to some of the neediest residents of El Monte and the San Gabriel Valley. I am referring, of course, to the transformational work accomplished each day at Our Saviour Center, The Cleaver Family Wellness Center, and The Dorris Dann Kids Campus. The mission for this collection of transformative organizations is to “share love, hope and resources with our neighbors in need”. Now, THAT is a transformative mission!
As I begin my role this week as your new Executive Director of Our Saviour Center, I am humbled by the transformative work our dedicated team of staff and volunteers perform each and every day in service to our brothers and sisters in Christ in El Monte. I’m ashamed to say that, during my 20+ years of worship at COS, I never took the time to see Our Saviour Center in ACTION, performing its transformative work, until just recently. Sure, I had been to the Center for special events: the Christmas party, Vestry meetings and the like. But to understand the transformation taking place at OSC, we must see it in ACTION, when the campuses are alive with every day people like you and I, doing God’s work in service to the children and families of El Monte.
Won’t you please join me in continuing the transformative work happening every day at OSC, The Cleaver Family Wellness Center and the Dorris Dann Kids Campus? Come see the Center in ACTION! And let’s work together to continue being the physical and practical evidence of Christ’s transformative powers, righthere, right now, springing forth from our spiritual home of COS.