It’s time to turn another page. Seems like I just bought new shorts for the long, lazy summer ahead and this morning the feeling of Fall in the air led me to reach for the sweatshirts. That’s what life is, though. We’re heading into the next fall season with Sunday School and Wednesday Nights just around the corner. I look forward to getting back to a weekly rhythm. But I’m wired in such a way that I can’t anticipate what’s ahead without thinking about what’s behind.
As the fall quickly makes itself known I look back with wonder at the summer we just had. Summer was a whirlwind of CHIC, MUUUCE, VBS, Mom & Kids Days, Youth Group, and Heritage Days. No wonder it seemed to go so fast! It was also, for me, an unexpected time to sit quietly, move slowly, listen and simply receive as I spent so many weeks healing from my bypass surgery. God hasn’t told me why this happened to me at this time, as if there is one specific reason. I never asked him that. Instead, He’s used the time we’ve had together to help me think more deeply and critically about what it is to be a Pastor and a congregation living out this Christian walk together.
I’m seeing more clearly that our relationship is a mutual one where you bring your gifts, talents and passions to serve where you’re uniquely wired to serve. I have a specific role to play as your Shepherd providing opportunities for you to be fed and grow. We celebrate our joys and victories together and together we weep and grieve our losses. When any of us needs picking up after getting knocked down, when we struggle in our faith, when we question or doubt, we’ll be there for each other without hesitation and without judgement. We do this because we’ve all been there at some time, because we can’t expect each other to live up to some standard of Christian “perfection” and because th
is is what love does. Jesus teaches us that everything in the Bible and being his follower comes down to love.
Not only are we at the end of the summer but this month also marks the end of the first full year of me being your Pastor. I’ll be reflecting on that as I start preaching again in September. I’ve missed sharing messages with you and I’m very ready to be back. I’m also so very thankful for everyone who filled in to speak and care for each other in my absence.
Are you ready to turn t
he page? Where I’ve already been with Jesus gives me great confidence to look forward to where I’m going next. I’m thankful for the things I’ve heard from him this summer and the past year. The next chapter begins now and I know He’s got His very best in store for us.
Jesus said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” John 13:34