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
This Sunday We Will Be Welcoming...
This Sunday we will be welcoming five new members into Grace Fellowship. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am about it – and I want to tell you why.
Taking in new members is a wonderful thing, because it means that people are identifying with our mission and feeling connected to our congregation. It also serves as a reminder that our mission matters and loving people makes a difference. The simple “yeses” we will hear on Sunday is packed with all that richness!
But, in this case, it is also more than that.
One of the things I remember hearing early in my tenure at Grace was related to the families that are part of the Wednesday kid’s ministry. The church was able to reach the kids, but the rest of the family was a bit harder to reach. I remember many prayers being prayed for the parents of these kids. I also remember watching the way parents were treated whenever they came to the church – wonderfully loved and embraced. It regularly moved me.
Point being that sometimes it takes time to see fruit from seeds planted. It requires faithful service when there are no immediate returns. God honors faithfulness. I am absolutely delighted that I get to witness these years of investment paying off. Several of those becoming members are a direct product of our Wednesday ministry to kids.
So, as these new families join our church this weekend, I hope everyone who has volunteered to teach a class, serve a meal, clean up the kitchen, pray for the ministry and/or put an offering in the basket on Sunday – remembers that each of you are an integral part of their spiritual journey. Without your willingness to serve and give (often sacrificially), we would not be seeing what we are seeing this weekend.
Thank-you for your faithfulness.
You did not become weary and well-doing. Therefore, the time for harvesting has come, because you did not give up. Well done good and faithful servants.