Pastor's Corner - march 24th
“We all, like sheep, have gone astray” (Isaiah 53:6). It's pretty easy to lose our way in life. Just one wrong turn and suddenly we have no idea how to get back to where we belong. Like prodigal children we are all looking for our way home. So where do you turn when you are lost? Some people flip through Ikea catalogs to find their best life. There’s a line in the movie, Fight Club that perfectly captures this charade: “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy [stuff] we don't need.” So where do we go next when materialism leads down a path of dissatisfaction and disappointment? Many pursue achievements in their search for meaning. Some turn to addiction in their pursuit of happiness. With all the wrong paths to choose from it is no wonder so many are lost.
But in Luke 15, Jesus provides a way back home in his parable about the lost sheep. He reminds us that we have a shepherd who actually drops everything to come find us. Others may leave us to our own device, but our shepherd goes over the mountains and down through the valleys to bring us home. Like a good shepherd, Jesus provides protection from the elements and sustenance on the journey. I love the way the prophet Isaiah describes our shepherd in Isaiah 40:10-11:
He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
he gently leads those that have young.
Maybe you feel a little lost this week. Perhaps you feel a longing in your heart for home. The human predicament is this: we are all lost until God finds us. Believe me when I say that it is no small wonder that we can call upon our shepherd by name. In the moments when we can’t tell which way to go, may we discover that Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
Grace and Peace,
Pastor Chris Allen
My Last Update...
Sooo, yeah… my last update as your interim pastor. What do I say?
I am going to share my Grace highlights this weekend, so I hope you can make it. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and want to look you in the eye as I share about the ways you have inspired and blessed me over these last 18 months.
If for some reason you can make the service, please consider joining us for the pot luck after the service. For those who may be out of town over the weekend, I will be in the office for my last day on Monday January 7. I will be moving the final boxes out of the office, but I plan on making some time available in the middle of the day from 11:00-2:00, should you want to say a personal good-bye.
I will leave you with a prayer that will be on my heart with every remembrance of you…
Dearest Lord Jesus, I thank you for the people of Grace Fellowship. They were birthed out of a passion to reach those whom others would not have been able (willing?) to reach. They have been called to the ‘bleeding edge’ of evangelistic creativity.
Although that has always been their aspiration, these last seasons have taken their toll on the full expression of that vision. But it has not been lost in their hearts. It still lives as a fire within them. Bring it to full fruition Lord. May the hopes and dreams of living ‘out there’ stir their hearts with great regularity. Energize their gifts and give them a courageous responsiveness to your Spirit. May they not walk in fear. May they not be distracted by petty things but be in unity about all that matters.
Grant Pastor Chris your anointing and favor in this community. Establish his leadership in a way that allows him great liberty to be used mightily by you for the sake of your kingdom’s expansion in this city. Bless him and his family, and may they know many fruitful years in this place.
In the powerful name of Jesus!
With great joy and love for you all…