Pastor’s ponderings

I’ll be honest and say that I struggle a lot during this season.  Now, before you go and get too worried, please understand that my struggle has nothing to do with the holidays or my mental health but is instead a seasonal struggle against one of my biggest arch-nemesis – fall leaves.  Yes, that’s right, fallen leaves are the bane of my existence from late October through most of the winter.  It doesn’t matter how hard I work to clean them up, days (and sometimes hours) later, they’re back again, covering the ground that I labored over just a short time before.  It is a daily struggle to combat during a time when I have so many other things to work on.

            Yet, recently God did what God often does for me during times such as these.  As I was mumbling to myself as I went about the usual leave removal routine, God used it as a learning moment, an opportunity for me to see something through a different lens.  Let me explain…

            Have you ever tried to blow a few loose random leaves?  The reality is its very difficult; they tend to just flutter about, to and fro, and never really end up going in any particular direction.  As I was watching this happen, a verse of Scripture popped into my mind (obviously by inspiration of the Holy Spirit).  Ephesians 4:14 warns us not to be tossed about and carried off by the wind of human deceitfulness.  Yet, unfortunately, like these loose leaves, when we isolate ourselves, try to stand on our own, that is too often what happens to Christians.

            It is only when the leaves are gathered together, grabbing hold of one another, that they begin to move in the same direction.  They become part of one another, marching forward in unity, and the more and more collective they become, the stronger their motion becomes.  The same happens in the church.  When we gather together, marching with the same purpose, we can do so much more than we can ever do on our own. We have singular direction and help one another move forward in our mission, instead of individually being tossed about by the wind.  I suppose that is why the author of Hebrews noted that we should never neglect meeting together (Heb 10:25), for it is only when we are united that things can really take hold.

            Today, too many Christians think that they can be Christians all on their own, without the necessity for the church.  Personally, I think this is our being tossed about in the winds of ill-conceived doctrine.  The church, as the body of Christ, has always meant to be connectional, relational, bound together and march in the same direction.  Why would we ever want to go it all alone, when we have always been stronger together?

                                                                        Always pondering, 

Pastor Steve

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