Pastor’s BLOG

Take Courage, Have Hope, Trust God

In a sermon a couple of weeks ago, I used the image of an earthquake as a metaphor for the time in which we are living. All of the cultural changes we are experiencing along with the light speed advancement of technology has left us on ground that is shifting under us. We try to hold onto something that will help us keep our footing; and yet even those once trusted foundations are shaking as the ground rises and falls under everything. In this circumstance, it certainly is easy to feel unsteady in the present, fearful of the future, and nostalgic for a time before the foundations shifted.

The returning Israelite exiles from Babylon faced a similar situation. The nation and homeland they left 50 years previously did not resemble the desolate land they returned to. The temple was destroyed, the land barely able to grow crops, and those who had been left behind did not welcome them. As the returning exiles began to rebuild the temple, they realized that it would never be as magnificent as the former temple. Their uncertain future and unstable present made them long for the past glories of Israel.

The prophet Haggai pointed out that the magnificent temple that they reminisced about was now a crumbled building. The past could not be rebuilt, but the future was in the hands of their God who was not done with them. God would make something greater than just a former building of old. Through the words of Haggai, God encouraged them to take courage and do not fear for God’s spirit abides among them. God was not done with them or the advancement of the Kingdom. In fact God will do even greater things with them and through them.

This is a good word for us as well. Even in the midst of shifting foundations, God’s Spirit is with us. We do not need to fear the present or the future, because God is still active. God is not done with the church in general, our church in particular, and us as individuals. God has great plans for us even in the midst of the cultural and technological quakes we are living through. In the words written by Haggai, may we Take Courage, Have Hope, and Trust that God is not finished!

I encourage you to pray daily for God’s presence to be made manifest in your life and in the life of our congregation as we place our trust in the work of Christ in our midst.

Grace and peace.
Your friend and pastor,
Pastor Lee



The Gift of Snow

Last Wednesday everything came to a stop as the snow began to fall early in the morning and continued through 4 p.m. Schools were closed; business where closed; roads were hazardous; and the safest course of action was to stay home. I made stew, worked on my sermon, and spent a lot of time just looking out the window at the beautiful snow.

Every time we get a snow that shuts things down, I consider it a gift. We live in such a over-committed and busy world that being forced to stay put is a blessing. Sometimes it takes a major snow storm to relieve us of whatever pressure there is to be productive and active, so we can rest and just enjoy being present to those around us.

Another thing I like about when it snows is how snow covers everything uniformly. It makes my muddy back yard look as pretty as the front yard that has some grass. Concrete driveways, asphalt roads, piles of debris, and bushes all get a uniform and pristine layer of snow. For just a moment, everything is beautiful.

That’s how it is with Jesus. There is a lot of ugliness in this world. There are a lot of things in our lives that are like piles of debris. Sin stains much in us and around us, but Jesus covers it all. Because of his work of redemption on the cross, we are covered with the righteousness of Jesus. All God sees in us is the original beauty of His creation. Through Christ, everything is beautiful. This is the good news of our faith. We are loved, forgiven, and redeemed.

May each of you be covered by the grace and mercy of our Lord!

Your friend and pastor,
Pastor Lee

 



God Comes….

As we consider the witness of the Bible, we see that God comes to God’s people in unexpected ways and at unexpected times. Moses was tending sheep when he met God in a burning bush. Samuel was asleep when he heard the voice of God call out his name. The shepherds preparing for a night’s rest when they heard from God in the song of the angels. And of course, God came to the world in the person of a helpless baby in the most humble of circumstances.

We come to church to be closer to God, and through our worship of God in the sanctuary gathered with fellow believers we do feel closer. Yet God is never constrained by our expectations for where we expect to meet God. Our God will meet us wherever and whenever God chooses to meet us. God may meet us in the wonder of a child, or in the holy moment of worship, or in the visit of an unexpected guest, or even in the outstretched hand of a beggar.

One clear message of Christmas is that God will come when God will come; and one thing that we can be sure of is that we will be surprised. So this Advent, watch and wait…for God is coming to meet you when you least expect it!

My family and I wish each of you a very blessed and holy Christmas!

Your friend and pastor,
Pastor Lee

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Advent Family Celebration

We invite you to join us as we celebrate the start of the Advent season!