"Patience People"

There is an old Appalachian Carol we don’t often sing, but you can find it on page 210 of our red hymnal, it’s entitled “I Wonder as I Wander.”  The carol speaks of one that is wondering (questioning) as he wanders (walks aimlessly), out under the night sky.  He wonders why Jesus came to die for ordinary people like you and like I.  Many of us probably ask this question on a daily basis as we look upon the sinful nature of ourselves and troubling and dark events in the world around us.   The song continues to state that Jesus could have surely had anything because he was the King, yet he chose you and he chose I.  As we enter 2020, our wondering about why God came for you and for I will continue, but our wandering should certainly end!

It’s perfectly fine to wonder about the mystery of our divine God from time to time, and why things happen the way they do. It’s also more than perfectly fine to stand in wonder and amazement in the love shown at Bethlehem, yet if you truly believe you shouldn’t be wandering aimlessly in the night.  Yes, wandering seems to be a big problem in our world today.  We wander away from what is right, we wander away from our responsibilities, we wander in confusion, and we wander because we are lost.  However, a true believer should wonder, but never wander.  Even among those who claim to believe in that Jesus that came to save you and to save I, many seem to be wandering.   Wandering away from church, wandering without the guidance of the Holy Spirit (or at least not listening to the call of the Spirit), and wondering away from the true purpose of God’s word of love (using scripture to hurt and judge, not to heal and express grace).

Are you a believer? Do you find yourself wandering from time to time?  Perhaps in 2020 you need to wander your behind back into a pew, maybe you need to listen closer to the Spirit, and use the word of God to strengthen yourself and others in Christ.  I think it’s time for all of us to stop complaining about what we don’t have, stop being divided on everything, and stop hurting one another.  Instead let us stand in “wonder” of the power of the Holy Spirit and in joy for the gift of the Manger and the Cross!  Let us live this NEW YEAR in a NEW WAY, in wonder, but not wandering out under the night sky!

There is an old Appalachian Carol we don’t often sing, but you can find it on page 210 of our red hymnal, it’s entitled “I Wonder as I Wander.”  The carol speaks of one that is wondering (questioning) as he wanders (walks aimlessly), out under the night sky.  He wonders why Jesus came to die for ordinary people like you and like I.  Many of us probably ask this question on a daily basis as we look upon the sinful nature of ourselves and troubling and dark events in the world around us.   The song continues to state that Jesus could have surely had anything because he was the King, yet he chose you and he chose I.  As we enter 2020, our wondering about why God came for you and for I will continue, but our wandering should certainly end!

It’s perfectly fine to wonder about the mystery of our divine God from time to time, and why things happen the way they do. It’s also more than perfectly fine to stand in wonder and amazement in the love shown at Bethlehem, yet if you truly believe you shouldn’t be wandering aimlessly in the night.  Yes, wandering seems to be a big problem in our world today.  We wander away from what is right, we wander away from our responsibilities, we wander in confusion, and we wander because we are lost.  However, a true believer should wonder, but never wander.  Even among those who claim to believe in that Jesus that came to save you and to save I, many seem to be wandering.   Wandering away from church, wandering without the guidance of the Holy Spirit (or at least not listening to the call of the Spirit), and wondering away from the true purpose of God’s word of love (using scripture to hurt and judge, not to heal and express grace).

Are you a believer? Do you find yourself wandering from time to time?  Perhaps in 2020 you need to wander your behind back into a pew, maybe you need to listen closer to the Spirit, and use the word of God to strengthen yourself and others in Christ.  I think it’s time for all of us to stop complaining about what we don’t have, stop being divided on everything, and stop hurting one another.  Instead let us stand in “wonder” of the power of the Holy Spirit and in joy for the gift of the Manger and the Cross!  Let us live this NEW YEAR in a NEW WAY, in wonder, but not wandering out under the night sky!

Pastor Brady

   

 

 

  

 

     

 

“Freedom:  A Higher Calling”

            As we enter July it feels like we do so with a lingering sense of anxiety and unrest. At least that’s how I feel and the general vibe I sense from our Church Family. What is going on with Covid-19?  Yes we are out and about again and some are able to return to Church services, but the numbers are spiking in places and what does that mean for the future?  We have seen in the past weeks a shadow cast upon those who serve and protect us, a vast majority in selfless and self-sacrificing duty, by a small number of officers who acted brutally and inappropriately and even brought death to minority citizens. We have seen peaceful protests against racial injustice turn into riots and violence across our nation’s cities, once again by a few bad actors.  As we approach our nation’s birthday we might ask ourselves what is going on in our country, and what is there to celebrate on July 4th this year? Well the answer is: So very much!  We are still Americans and live in the greatest nation of liberty and justice in the history of the world. Is America perfect, certainly not, but we can always strive to make it better. We are Christians; we belong to the family of God, have been saved by Jesus, and have the Holy Spirit within us always. Is the Church perfect, certainly not, but we can always strive to make it better and ourselves better disciples of the Lord.   On July 4th we celebrate freedom, now in the midst of turmoil it’s time we heed freedom’s higher calling!

            Freedom’s higher calling as a nation can be found in our Constitution and within the ideals of our founding fathers.  However, things weren’t perfect in 1776 and they remain a work in progress in 2020. Laws and Amendments can help guide us to better places over time, but ultimately our progress hinges on each citizen improving themselves, communities doing the same, and ultimately building a nation of true respect, understanding, and unity.  When we ponder that it has been 244 years since our founding, 155 years since the end of the Civil War, 100 years since women’s suffrage, and 56 years since the Civil Rights Act, we quickly can realize by the scenes in our nation today that much inequality and injustice still exits.  It is time we look to freedom’s higher calling and start spreading more respect and more love among all of God’s children.

            Freedom calls upon us to not only seek justice and equality for all, but also to understand we have the right to not agree and to express those views. However, as children of God we need to express those views and differences as gracefully as possible and not with the intention to bring down or hurt others. Lately the Facebook Feeds, radio talk shows, and different news stations have been filled with viscous attacks and hurtful expressions of opinion. These actions will not make us better Americans, give us more freedom, accomplish more unity, and certainly will not allow us to be better followers of the most high!

            Most importantly is freedom’s higher calling that comes from our loving God. As Christians and as Believers we have been given the freedom from sin and death, and the freedom to live a grace filled life. All the Lord asks is that we love one another and Him.  Why do we make it so hard!?!  So how do you live up to the nation’s higher calling of freedom and to God’s higher calling of freedom this coming Independence Day and moving forward, how do we work to mend our nation’s brokenness, how do we live up to the ideals set forth in Philadelphia 244 years ago?  LOVE MORE! It’s that simple!  

In the Peace and Love of Christ,
Pastor Brady