We are a gathering of believers in Jesus Christ ignited by the Holy Spirit to be ministers and missionaries. Individually, we are candles. Together, God is transforming us into a torch that enlightens the world to
From the Pastor's Heart ...
I remember going to the weight room in the school for athletics. I remember one coach saying, "Look at what the school gives you!" I remember thinking, "Give? This is just work!" One week there was a leak in the sprinkler system, and we couldn't go to the weight room while they fixed it. I was happy; I got more free time! The days of weight lifting are over for me, but I have friends who still work out. COVID closed the gyms as well as many other things. While I was looking for toilet paper, I had friends looking for dumbbells! They didn't see the gym closing as an hour of extra time as I did in school when the weight room was closed. They missed the commitment they had to give.
Commitment Sunday is in a few days. Last Sunday, I had the honor of preaching about gifts as an opportunity to participate in stewardship. I spoke with an extended metaphor of water. I also spoke from the pastor's perspective and the benefits that the church of "gospel farmers" gets by knowing when it will "rain" the water of gifts. In my newsletter article, I want not to approach the stewardship moment of commitment from the community's perspective, but as an individual. Making any form of commitment is a spiritual practice. It creates a connection to the covenant language found in our scriptures and with the covenant God has made with us.
COVID has robbed many of us of our commitments. And at the same time it has made commitments we want to make even more problematic. I feel like this commitment on Sunday may be the hardest one for many people to make. Many unknowns are going on in the world.
Weirdly, I feel like my old coach. The church is giving us a chance to do something, commitment, in a time of unknown! And this gift adamantly feels like the work, like lifting weights. But, people I know who work out enjoy it and are blessed. Likewise, people who make commitments to the church also enjoy it and are also blessed.