Reminder: Our worship service returns to 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 6th. The Adult Sunday School class will return to 9:15 a.m.
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 (NRSV)
The story is told of a conversation a pastor just starting out in ministry had one Sunday after worship with one of the long-time elders. “Young man,” he said, “I haven’t had one new idea in 20 years and I don’t intend to get one now.” His words were a warning shot across the bow of hopes and dreams of a wet-behind-the ears young pastor brimming over with new ideas. The pastor soon learned that his comments and his attitude said more about him than it did about the unchanging character of God. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. We can count on the constancy of God’s love in Jesus Christ for the whole creation. It is a love that surrounds us, fills us, and sustains us throughout all our days. The words of the familiar hymn, “If Thou but Trust in God to Guide Thee” capture this truth: Who trusts in God’s unchanging love builds on the rock that naught can move.
It is precisely because of the eternal and unchanging character of God’s love that we can change, mature, and even welcome new ideas! Jesus Christ is the same the same always; yet, Jesus speaks to us in new and fresh ways depending on our situation and our need. Sometimes Jesus nudges us gently; sometimes Jesus confronts us in the voices of others; and sometimes Jesus just grabs us by the collar and gives us a good shake to wake us up to what the Spirit is doing in our lives and the world. If we are to grow spiritually and morally, we need to be open to new insights, understanding, and wisdom that come through Christian worship, study, fellowship, and service. If we are to grow, we need to listen for the voice of God speaking through those whose lives, experiences and ideas may be quite different from our own. Arrested spiritual development is not a good thing.
We will soon begin the process of searching for a new pastor, a process that will take several months. Your prayers for those who will be serving on the Pastor Nominating Committee are needed; so is your patience. I believe God continues to call us into a faithful, hopeful, creative future. Our task is not to make that happen, but to discern and respond to where the Spirit is leading, in worship and service and mission. We have the gifts and resources we need - our calling is to trust the Spirit for the journey. As we study and worship together, may Jesus shake up our all too comfortable ways of thinking and our unfulfilling ways of living. God has something new in store for us!
Yours in Christ,
Tuesday, September 15 at 5:30 p.m. - Koinonia Circle will go out to eat at Olde Dutch Restaurant. ALL LADIES OF THE CHURCH ARE INVITED! PLEASE COME!!