"Patience People"

There is an old Appalachian Carol we don’t often sing, but you can find it on page 210 of our red hymnal, it’s entitled “I Wonder as I Wander.”  The carol speaks of one that is wondering (questioning) as he wanders (walks aimlessly), out under the night sky.  He wonders why Jesus came to die for ordinary people like you and like I.  Many of us probably ask this question on a daily basis as we look upon the sinful nature of ourselves and troubling and dark events in the world around us.   The song continues to state that Jesus could have surely had anything because he was the King, yet he chose you and he chose I.  As we enter 2020, our wondering about why God came for you and for I will continue, but our wandering should certainly end!

It’s perfectly fine to wonder about the mystery of our divine God from time to time, and why things happen the way they do. It’s also more than perfectly fine to stand in wonder and amazement in the love shown at Bethlehem, yet if you truly believe you shouldn’t be wandering aimlessly in the night.  Yes, wandering seems to be a big problem in our world today.  We wander away from what is right, we wander away from our responsibilities, we wander in confusion, and we wander because we are lost.  However, a true believer should wonder, but never wander.  Even among those who claim to believe in that Jesus that came to save you and to save I, many seem to be wandering.   Wandering away from church, wandering without the guidance of the Holy Spirit (or at least not listening to the call of the Spirit), and wondering away from the true purpose of God’s word of love (using scripture to hurt and judge, not to heal and express grace).

Are you a believer? Do you find yourself wandering from time to time?  Perhaps in 2020 you need to wander your behind back into a pew, maybe you need to listen closer to the Spirit, and use the word of God to strengthen yourself and others in Christ.  I think it’s time for all of us to stop complaining about what we don’t have, stop being divided on everything, and stop hurting one another.  Instead let us stand in “wonder” of the power of the Holy Spirit and in joy for the gift of the Manger and the Cross!  Let us live this NEW YEAR in a NEW WAY, in wonder, but not wandering out under the night sky!

There is an old Appalachian Carol we don’t often sing, but you can find it on page 210 of our red hymnal, it’s entitled “I Wonder as I Wander.”  The carol speaks of one that is wondering (questioning) as he wanders (walks aimlessly), out under the night sky.  He wonders why Jesus came to die for ordinary people like you and like I.  Many of us probably ask this question on a daily basis as we look upon the sinful nature of ourselves and troubling and dark events in the world around us.   The song continues to state that Jesus could have surely had anything because he was the King, yet he chose you and he chose I.  As we enter 2020, our wondering about why God came for you and for I will continue, but our wandering should certainly end!

It’s perfectly fine to wonder about the mystery of our divine God from time to time, and why things happen the way they do. It’s also more than perfectly fine to stand in wonder and amazement in the love shown at Bethlehem, yet if you truly believe you shouldn’t be wandering aimlessly in the night.  Yes, wandering seems to be a big problem in our world today.  We wander away from what is right, we wander away from our responsibilities, we wander in confusion, and we wander because we are lost.  However, a true believer should wonder, but never wander.  Even among those who claim to believe in that Jesus that came to save you and to save I, many seem to be wandering.   Wandering away from church, wandering without the guidance of the Holy Spirit (or at least not listening to the call of the Spirit), and wondering away from the true purpose of God’s word of love (using scripture to hurt and judge, not to heal and express grace).

Are you a believer? Do you find yourself wandering from time to time?  Perhaps in 2020 you need to wander your behind back into a pew, maybe you need to listen closer to the Spirit, and use the word of God to strengthen yourself and others in Christ.  I think it’s time for all of us to stop complaining about what we don’t have, stop being divided on everything, and stop hurting one another.  Instead let us stand in “wonder” of the power of the Holy Spirit and in joy for the gift of the Manger and the Cross!  Let us live this NEW YEAR in a NEW WAY, in wonder, but not wandering out under the night sky!

Pastor Brady

   

 

 

  

 

     

 

          Faithful Process/Eternal Result

     As summer hits its peak and begins to wind down in the month of August, we can look around and see the results of the planting, seeding, and care process. I take heart that the flowers I planted for my Grandma Hazel at her home are still growing brightly. Even though she has gone to her heavenly home I know she still showers her love and legacy upon us, and the result of her faithful journey of growth is life eternal. Many of the local crops are growing strong and are harvested in late summer or fall, the worth of the family garden can be measured by the heartiness and taste of the vegetables grown, and our flowers have either grown bright and beautiful or withered away. All of the growth we enjoy in the later summer months is a product of the process of planting and care that begins much earlier in the year. The process of growing flowers, plants, and crops is one that relies on nature but also human preparation and care. If we do not put enough effort or care into the process we likely will not enjoy the results. Just like a garden needs care, so too does our faith, and the result is reliant on the process.
     Imagine if you only watered your flowers once a summer, or if you just scattered seeds on top of poor soil in your garden. The results would be dead flowers and seeds that never took root. So now imagine you apply the same effort to your faith. You say you believe in Jesus in one grand moment of testimony, yet you attend church maybe once a year, you never read scripture, and you rarely surround yourself with other people of the faith. This is not the process of a faithful servant of God. This is not the process of someone who lives their life for Christ. This is not the process of someone who allows the Holy Spirit to guide their life. If we choose to put this type of effort into our faith we are responsible for the results the process yields. We must be prepared to grow in our faith constantly and certainly more than one growing season. Just as farmers prepare and re-seed their fields for next year’s harvest, we must constantly be refreshing, reviving, and reliving our faith.
     We can refresh our faith through devotions, studies, and reading the scripture as often as possible. We can revive our faith by surrounding ourselves with the faithful in church, in community, and all aspects of life. We can constantly relive our faith through prayer and practice, through a stronger relationship with God, through putting Christ’s command to love each other into action, and through relying on the Spirit, not the flesh to guide us.
     The question for each of us to ponder as we reflect on how well our plants, crops, or flowers grew this summer, is truly how much effort are we putting into our faith and what results are we finding. Our faith is to be a life long journey and commitment to God. Remember God never lets us down and continually nourishes us through the Holy Spirit. If we want to get through this often difficult thing we call life and wish to spend eternal life in eternal bliss, it is time to put effort into the process and walk with God not away from him as best we can.
                                        In the Peace and Love of Christ,
                                        Pastor Brady