Pastor Ivy is out on medical leave. Here is her message from 2020.
The church new year and our calendar new year are upon us. The incarnation, God coming to us, was celebrated at Christmas, which continues into January until Epiphany. The twelve days of Christmas do not precede, but follow Christmas. God invites us into relationship with Him and our brothers and sisters in Christ.
I'm reminded of the story of the quart jar of beans and ping pong balls. The beans
represent the little things in life and the ping pong balls represent the big, important
things in life. If you pour the beans in first to fill the bottom of the jar, you realize quickly that your ping pong balls aren't going to fit. BUT if you put in your ping pong balls first, the beans fit nicely in the jar with no problems. Moral of the
story: take care of the big things in life and the little things will get done. What are
YOUR big things - family, friends, work, God?
God is asking us to put him first. God is not requiring a lot of hard work from us, he
just wants to be a part of our lives.
Last year when we did our church survey, including possible alternate times that may work better, none of the young families, so stretched nearly to the breaking point by time's demands, responded. And so, I'd like to ask you now, what would enable you to participate in the life of God's church? How can we help to fulfill the promise you made at baptism for yourself and your children “to live with them among God's faithful people, bring them to the word of God and the holy supper…so that your children may learn to trust God, proclaim Christ through word and deed, care for others and the world God made and work for justice and peace”(ELW, p. 228).
It is hard to carve out time from our too busy lives, We can be Christians by
ourselves, but in doing so, we are robbing ourselves and others of the mutual benefit of meeting together. As the author of Hebrews wrote, (10:22-25) So let’s do it—full of belief, confident that we’re presentable inside and out. Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let’s see how
inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on…” (The Message).
This is easy to say, but harder to do. Take baby steps. If you haven't been to church in the last year, try several times a year, then monthly or more often. Create a new habit—regular church attendance. If there are things that bother you or changes you‟d like to see made, talk to me or to a council member. Help BE the change.
I challenge us all this year to respond with a renewed “Yes!” to God's invitation into a deeper relationship. What are the “big things” in our lives and how can we all strive to put God first, to be with us for all our other challenges and joys in the “jar of life”
May God give us the grace to have open hearts to God and God‟s people.
See you at church!
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