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 Week Carol and I...
This weekend, Carol and I will be dedicating a tree on the grounds here at Grace Fellowship. It is a thank-you we want to share with the church for your kindness and responsiveness to us in this last year. Many of you have been kind enough to say positive things about our tenure at Grace. It has been a fruitful and rebuilding season for the church – with lots of reasons for rejoicing! Lots of people helped make that happen. We feel blessed just to have been a part.
What you should also know is that this last season has been really good for Carol and me too. I have loved living in a Dutch community. Carol has relished her opportunity to launch an AirBnB at the Villa. And our ministry experience at Grace has been filled with memorable baptisms, professions of faith, new members, and life-changing events. We have loved every minute of it – and much of that is due to your cooperative and risk-taking spirit. Thank-you!
But the tree isn’t just about saying “thank-you.” It is also our way of expressing hope for your future. I am quite confident that Pastor Chris will serve you extremely well, in this next season of ministry. Yet, not every day will be an easy day. There will be times where it gets hard. There will be days where you doubt. That’s just the reality of life.
In the ups and downs of ministry life, our hope and prayer is that you find the tree an inspiration. May it serve as a reminder that a church (like a tree) stands strong and true when its roots are deep. In the case of the church it is about being rooted in God’s word and remembering his promises. Every time you pass the tree, may you be reminded of the good you have known and the good you have yet to discover!
Your best days are still before you…