"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

   

 

 

  

 

     

 

“Hearts of Reflection & Progress”

     Greetings! St. John’s Family & Friends. As we enter February with hope for progress and perhaps a time of individual and collective reflection, I know many of you have not been able to be active (at least in-person) with the Church in some time, and I know we are all praying that in the coming months, perhaps by the end of spring or by early summer, we will be able to get back to some sense of “normal”. February is still a cold winter month, and the pandemic is still so real, however February is also a month centered on the greatest of ideals: Love! The love we celebrate at Valentine’s Day, and the journey of love that begins the Lenten season (Ash Wednesday is February 17th). May our journey through February and Lent be filled with many opportunities of reflection on the love we have for one another and our loving relationship with the Savior. May we also pray that we have hearts growing with a fire for loving progress in the future days that are before us.
     Let our hearts first be focused on reflection in this month that continues our journey of life. May we give thanks to God for sustaining us through these hard times, and leading us in light through the darkness. Hopefully this time of separation, uncertainty, fear, and for some, much pain has allowed each of us to understand what is truly important in life. Our family, our friends, our Church, our community, and most of all, our God.
     After we have pondered the events of these past months of hardship, then may we find resolve in our love for one another and our loving relationship with Jesus. In this resolve may we seek to have hearts of progress for the future of that love for each other and as a loving faith community at St. John’s. I hope you are prepared to use that heart of progress to extend that love from St. John’s when things get back to “normal” and I don’t mean just with your attendance at worship. May we all be thinking how we can use the gifts of the Spirit we have been given to support the Lord’s work through His Holy Church. Maybe you can join a ministry team? Maybe attend a Bible Study or Sunday Night Service when they resume? Perhaps you can offer your talents volunteering for a Sunday morning worship duty? Maybe help with the technology? Perhaps help with Youth Ministries? The options are many, and the Lord is calling on us all to move forward with hearts of progress, taking His Love and Good News to all when things return to “normal”, and even now when things are anything but normal.
     Until we do finally climb out of this pandemic, let us continue to reflect on all the love we have, all the love that is gifted from the loving Lord, and all the love shared as a Church Family. In doing so may we grow our hearts in progress for the Lord’s work in the future emboldened with the Spirit and the Love of our Redeemer!

In the Peace and Love of Christ,
Pastor Brady