From the June 2013 Newsletter
“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) was the verse for this year’s synod assembly gathering in Lansing.
I don’t know about you, but I was raised with the Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier as part of my day… nothing that was new to me… God was a part of my life growing up. Mom and Dad and my grandmother and great grandmother and aunts and uncles and cousins… well, they all talked about God, we went to church, some of us even the same church… so there wasn’t really a time or date or hour when I can remember “coming to Jesus” as one might say…. but I do indeed remember times in my life when changes or moments or transitions would have been very difficult without faith, or hope, or grace or forgiveness or the realization that I am loved no matter what and that indeed everything old HAS passed away and everything has become NEW!
How are you doing with transitions… with death and life… old and new? Do you let go of the past remembering confession and forgiveness? Do you do well at remembering that Jesus meets you right where you are and moves forward in love? That God’s grace is sufficient? That we may not deserve another new kind of day, but we get it anyway? That’s right! Out of a love that surpasses our understanding we are given a deep deep love that moves us through the times of our lives that are difficult, that are rough, that are dark…that are even fearful… and the Holy Spirit shows us the light of hope and love and forgiveness of a new day, of new hope, of new life… sometimes it takes a moment for us to recognize it… because it is new… but it is there! Individually our lives change, I think we can all attest to that! Collectively then, our lives change as well… and so….
The church is changing… the way we communicate is changing… the way the Gospel is shared is changing… are we meeting people where they are or are we expecting them to meet us where we are? What are we doing to share the Good News in a world that is sometimes rough and difficult to navigate, where people are changing all of the time?
Our congregation is using social media right now to get out news and to make announcements… but we are looking at other parts of social media for chat rooms for Bible study and discussion…. we are adding to our technology to allow for different media to be used to share the Gospel in different ways opening the door to all types of learners to give thanks to God… and yes, that is challenging for all of us… those who have been conditioned to learn in one type of way, versus those who have been taught to learn and share in multi ways, and so we hold hands and we walk together in conversation, sharing the Gospel story with new eyes, in new ways with a new heart in a new day…in our new lives… everything old has passed away… we have been made new again!
Transitions can be difficult…but they can be exciting and new and really creative! Let’s allow the Spirit to bind us together during these times, to show us how to share the Gospel message and to allow us to share the love of Christ that surpasses our human understanding. Let us live the Gospel better than ever with open hearts and minds with courage and empowerment for everyone we meet! “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
In and through and with Christ…Pastor Sherry