Light Up The Sky!

All this time
The sun never says to the earth,
“You owe
What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the

Happy 4th, Everyone! Remember: Be safe with explosives.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write about today. I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired. So yesterday afternoon as I was leaving the church, I walked into Paul’s office and asked “what do you want to read from me this week? I don’t know what to write!” After a brief conversation and a few laughs, he told me to write about riding a bike on Mars.

I’m not going to be writing about riding a bike on Mars. (After conferring with my friend in the astronomy department at UT, he assured it me it’s not possible. I brought up Philippians 4:13. He assured me it still would not be possible.)

However, this morning while I was on my bike ride (on Earth) I was thinking about what I wanted to say. Then I remembered this poem I found not too long ago. The first time I read it, I read it many, many times in a row. Each time the words sank a bit deeper into my mind. They became more real .

It’s this wild idea of unconditional love, completely unconditional, that impacts me. We’ve said it a million times, but we consider our church community a family. A chosen family. Any member of the LGBTQIA+ community is intimately familiar with this chosen family concept because, for so many of us, our friends were the first to show us unconditional love for all of who we are. They were the ones to lean on until we felt comfortable to come out to our actual families. And for too many, the chosen family became all they had once they did come out. But I’m getting off topic…

This chosen family of ours is pretty awesome. We celebrate each other’s successes. We lend a hand (or a car, or our time, or our energy, or our ears, or our wisdom, or our advice, or any combination of these things) to help each other when the time calls. That’s love. And it really does light up the room when I see everyone hugging and laughing during worship. Even better? That love is infectious. We can’t help but smile.

When we show love to each other, it lights up a room. If we carry that with us and show that same infectious love to someone else, it begins to light up the sky. What a world that would be.

Always with love,

Jonathan Castillo
Minister of Music & Outreach

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