September 2022 Pastor’s Perspective

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ!
Are you ready my brother (Oh yes) Are you ready for the journey (Oh yes)
Do you wanna see my Jesus (Oh yes) I’m waiting for the chariot ‘Cause I’m ready to go
Ride the chariot in the mornin’ Lord Ride the chariot in the mornin’ Lord
I’m getting ready for the judgment day My Lord, my Lord
The above words of the spiritual, “Ride the Chariot” came to mind thinking about September! Am I ready? School is back in session throughout our communities. “Fall” sports, marching band, chorus, all the usual activities, along with community events, and life is moving forward. A sportswriter wrote a column recently about the return of “Fall” sports with an intensity that has not been for the past several years. His main topic is the need for players, coaches, parents, and fans to be respectful of Officials as they officiate at sporting events. Sporting leagues continue to struggle with finding officials who are willing to endure the abuse that is all too common. It is increasingly common for those best equipped to “officiate” to simply say they are not willing, or to turn a phrase, “the ends do not justify the means.”
Our ministry is called forth by Jesus with urgency as we share the Gospel of salvation by faith in Jesus and the new life he offers. We understand this is not just our opinion. We seek to rightly handle the Word of truth and as we share are empowered by God’s Holy Spirit in power and healing, whether nearby or in places around the globe. We live in the midst of conflict, confusion and contempt, yet the opportunities abound to share the good news of God’s life-transforming love in Jesus Christ, which conquers sin and death, sets captives free and gives us hope and purpose! Wherever we turn, the witness of the Gospel is needed! How can we continue? How can we not?
And he (Jesus) said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and salute no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace be to this house!’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace shall rest upon him; but if not, it shall return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages; do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you; heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off against you; nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town. Luke 10:2-12
Jesus’ above charge to the 70 was specific for them; and in the power of God’s indwelling Holy Spirit is specific for us! The harvest is plentiful and we are called to offer ourselves to the ministry of our Lord and pray for others to be sent as well. Preparations have been underway for the harvest in the fields around us. Each year, every growing season bring challenges and change, yet we prepare for and go out into the harvest. We see changes in our world, nation, community and church; even with these changes the harvest is still before us and is as opportune as ever! It is likely true that our county and community have more unchurched folks living here today than ever in our history! Even more powerful than change is the faithfulness of our Lord!
I will never fail you nor forsake you. Hence we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid; what can man do to me?” Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. Hebrews 13:5-8
Are you ready my brother, my sister? Are you ready for the journey? The journey continues each day as we share in the joy of Jesus’ harvest until he returns or we join him in glory, whichever happens first. We celebrate seeing and supporting one another in church and in the harvest fields! Where we are, who we are with, this is the witness of hope and life which is desperately needed from us, Jesus’ light overcoming the darkness! In Jesus, Pastor Paul

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