E-Update: Due North

by Pastor Mike Carlson, Lead Pastor

(posted 10/24/2018)
When I was a young boy Michael D. Carlsonmy father took me deer hunting. I was way too young to carry a gun, but I was thrilled to be along on the hunt.

Dad gave me a job: follow this compass and walk north until you get to the road. I was to chase the deer to my dad.

I walked for what seemed like hours in a northern Minnesota swamp. In one quick move I lost my glasses and my compass in the icy, grassy water. I was lost. I spent time waiting and wandering in the swamp. After some time I was able to hear my father call to me. Walking toward the call I found my way to the road. My dad hugged me and said he would never let me get lost.

I have a question for you. When you wander and are lost, what is your compass? Your north star, your due north, your true north? I love looking up at the sky and finding the north star. It has always felt like a symbol for my way to find home.

I am convinced after reading the biblical witness many times in several languages that Jesus invites all of us to use love as our moral compass. Do what is the most loving. In our friendships, in our work lives, in our relationship with the earth, in our politics…do what is most loving.

This is reinforced time and time again as we engage the faith. And even when we must exert strength against powers that need to be confronted, we, like Jesus, are called to do what is most loving.

Now here comes the part that is hard for many of us: this also applies to how we treat ourselves. When you are beating yourself up, do what is most loving, taking the time you need to rest and heal, letting God in to heal your dark places and make you whole. Do what is most loving.

Sisters and brothers, the love of Jesus was so scandalous that the powers of hate tried to destroy him. The love of God that was made into flesh in Jesus was so strong, that even death was not able to keep it from you. Love wins. Use love as your moral compass in all you do.