Pastor’s ponderings

Last Sunday, for the first Sunday of this new year, the message that the Lord laid upon my heart challenged us to discern how new things will be happening in our midst.  Ironically, however, the new things that the Spirit led us to are not really new things to the church; these things have always been a part of what being church is all about.  Jesus always helped those in need, entered into relationship with those whom the rest of society wants to cast aside, and commited himself to their cause.  God proclaimed earlier in Scripture, through the prophet Micah, “…what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” (6:8, NRSV). These things that the Spirit has recently revealed to the modern church, amidst our pandemic context, are the very things which have always been required of us as the people of God.  So, they’re not really new, just new to us, as a modern people whose vision of the church had become a bit blurry.

            Therefore, I suspect, we will continue to see many a new thing develop in our parish this year.  I can personally count up a handful of opportunities that may unfold this year; changes that will individually and collectively affect our parish, our district, our Conference, and our denomination.  So, what are we to do?  Sit tight and await the revelation of what these changes may bring, OR move forward in our ministry, following Jesus’ Great Commission for us.

            Do you remember the words of the Great Commission?  As we mentioned last week, this Commission is the mission statement of the church, it is the directive from Jesus as to what we are to do each and every day as his disciples – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” (Matt 28:19-20a, NRSV).  Go…make disciples…baptizing them…teaching them – the four points of our daily mission as Christians that we must attend to.

            This Sunday, during Waverly’s worship service, we will be doing something new as we live into this Great Commission.  In an effort to aid someone desiring to respond to Jesus’ invitation to “Come and follow me,” we will be peforming a baptism of a new Christian in a way that has reportedly never before been done in our sanctuary.  It is an exciting time to be a part of, and I personally invite you to come and see it as it happens, as you are able (or watch via Facebook Live).  I think it will be a revelation, not only for the one being baptized, but for all of us – the first of the many new things that the Lord has in store for us during this new era of the church.  To God be the glory!

                                                                        Pastor Steve

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