A Note From Pastor Jim
This week began with wonderful worship wrapped around two sermons and our Lord’s feeding us at his supper, along with a fellowship dinner in between. Thank you to all who participated in providing us with a splendid meal and who came up by faith to worship the LORD our help.
From the Morning Sermon: I encourage you to take our telling of what God has done for us in Christ into caring relationships with your ‘neighbors’. Those caring relationships require questions, listening and learning. People are not projects. They are image bearers of God who are made for his glory. You may have an opportunity to be one who “plants” or one who “waters” in their life as God makes them his new creation in Christ Jesus, through the hearing of Christ in your telling. Garden with care.
From the Evening Sermon: I encourage you to take time to recount how the Lord, who is the creator of heaven and earth, has been, is and will be your help. Practice with the words of the psalmist, ‘Let the church now say, if the Lord had not been on our side, we would have been swallowed alive, by our flesh, the world and the devil. But we’ve been set free! The Lord is our help. Recount the dangers, give thanks for all the help you’ve received, and give testimony of the LORD, your Creator and Redeemer, who is your help.
Coming Lord’s Day: Sunday morning I will be preaching from Romans 11:1-10 and Scott will be preaching from Exodus 10. Paul will be answering the question, “Did God reject Israel?” His answer is that, ‘God has not rejected Israel, but most are hardened toward the gospel.’ In Exodus we will be exploring what God reveals of himself in the eighth and ninth plagues and how we may respond by faith.
A Possible Merger: The Session will be meeting with the Session of Covenant Presbyterian Church on Thursday March 8th at 6:30 pm. Please be in prayer for our meeting. We will be praying together, discussing our congregations response to the announcement of this process, and discussing what are our next steps together. One of those next steps is a dinner on the grounds at Covenant Presbyterian Sunday March 18th following morning worship. Please plan on attending.
An Opportunity for Growth: The process that we are going through as a congregation is a wonderful opportunity for our growth as followers of Jesus. Change brings growth. We often fear what will happen to us when things change. This is a great time for each of us to examine what we are afraid of in the midst of change. We want to be a gospel centered church which means we will be a ministry minded church. The gospel came to us and now the gospel continues in us to go through us to others. When this is happening we are not consumers at church to get our needs met. Rather we are worshipers living life together in Christ as God does ministry through us to others. God does this work through his body, his church. We need to walk together in this process of growth and change as he leads us. It’s a good time for you to be having discussions with each other and your leaders that you may discover what is in you (fears, concerns, thoughts, beliefs) that God wants to change and grow to use us a his church for his glory here and in the earth.
Looking In to Look Out
A Final Thought: In Mark 12 verse 41 Jesus is in the Temple in Jerusalem sitting opposite the treasury with his disciples. People are coming in and putting their money into the offering box. There were rich people putting in large sums of money. But in verse 42 in walks a widow who is impoverished who puts in the box all she had to live on. In the eyes of the rich it amounted to nothing, but to Jesus it was great riches. She gave out of her poverty (44). Therefore she contributed more than any of the others (43). How could someone who contributed such a little amount be seen as one who had given more than the rich? Her treasure was her God who had given her everything to make her rich. He was her Shepherd and she was not in want. She had nothing but she had everything because God had her as his own. She was an image bearer reflecting the glory of her Creator and Redeemer who everyday gives all he is and has to his own in abundance. She had all her supplies of want met in him and so she gave all she was and had to him. Her contemporaries would have no value for a woman who was widowed and dirt poor. Her Creator and Redeemer delighted in her as she treasured him by her humble generosity. Re-planting, re-vitalizing, re-starting, or merging a church (whatever you want to call it) will require our humble generosity. We can follow him in the way he leads us, not because we are rich or have all the resources in our well put together lives, but because we are impoverished and have all our treasures and riches in him who shepherds and leads us where he wants us to go and to whom he wants us to serve. Let’s treasure Christ together that others through our humble generosity may treasure him together with us.