Pastor’s Pen

Hello strangers!!  Just kidding — mostly.  As we approach the sixth Sunday of not meeting in person for worship and the sixth week for having on-line only gatherings for studies or for team meetings, my sense of missing you all continues to grow.  The first couple of weeks there was a novelty to it and there was an excitement about trying out new technologies and trying to be innovative in ways that we could safely “gather” in this season of COVID-19.  As most of us have largely been sheltering-in-place (even though it is not the law of the land) since the end of March rolled around, there is a steadily  building longing to see and be present to one another.  Last Saturday and Sunday, in preparation for our Confirmation Sunday, I met with each of our seven youth and their mentors and their families to video their creeds and personal scriptures and so on.  After we were done with the “business” of recording, there was a time when we lingered and just talked — always from at least six feet.  It simply felt nice to just be in one another’s presence.  In any other year, we would have all been rushing off to the next thing.  But not in this season that we now find ourselves.  Side and parallel note: tomorrow I am driving to Kadoka to pick up a Cedar Creek basket (think Bountiful Baskets).  I think the basic fact that I am willing to drive 120 miles each way to get $25 worth of fresh fruits and veggies is indicative of our communal need to get outside of our homes and to have at least a little adventure.

In the last “Weekly Update” I shared some of an article that looked at what people are seeking in a church.  As this time of isolation and time to ourselves has grown, so too has the desire for the spiritual in many individuals.  The usually political and sarcastic tilt of Facebook has become more gentle and kind and, dare I say, compassionate.  The article provided some information about seekers but I hope you too felt the sense that “the fields are ripe for harvesting”, as Jesus once said in John 4:35.   People are looking for hope and community and a sense of purpose or meaning.  I encourage you to safely engage your friends and neighbors that do not have a church home.  Share with them the hope and the peace that you find in your faith.  Share with them the promises of salvation and forgiveness and of contentment in this life.  And then invite them to church.  God bless one and all!!

– Pastor John

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Scripture to read and consider:

 If you love me, you will do what I have said, and my Father will love you.  I will also love you and show you what I am like”. — John 14:21

Questions to ponder and to go deep with:

1) How do you demonstrate your love for God daily?

2) In what ways do you strive to “do what I have said” as you interact with fellow Christians as well as with non-believers?

3) How does Jesus speak into your life, showing you what he is like?  How do these words guide and shape you?