Dear Church Family and Community,
I have been thinking of this Henri Nouwen quote recently. It sprang forth during a Q&A session following a speaking engagement. An exhausted and overwhelmed parent steps up and asks, “What do I do with my exhausting and overwhelming child?” Perhaps you can relate? Nouwen lovingly addresses the parent, talking about change, growth, and ministry as a parent. And then he drops this line that has been instilled in me ever since I first read it: You have to be a growing person yourself.
The idea is simple in wording, and often quite difficult in consistent practice. We are either progressing or regressing. We are either growing or withering. Our calling is to seek our Father’s kingdom, become more obedient to the Holy Spirit, and be transformed into becoming more and more like Christ. The work for all of us, in every single season, is to be growing in our faith, walk, and life with Jesus.
Life can be exhausting, grow in Christ. Life can be overwhelming, grow in Christ. Life is often more than any one of us can handle or control. Cast all your cares upon God our Father, look to Jesus our Savior, and submit to the Holy Spirit – asking for God’s help to grow in Christ.
This season that we currently find ourselves in remains challenging on so many fronts. Our new routines are far from what we have grown accustomed to. Things we took for granted, being together, a handshake or a hug, going to work, kids being in school, and so much more – are now things we’re missing and promising to never take for granted again.
Life is exhausting right now. Things seem to be getting increasingly overwhelming for many of us. And some of us have met or are nearing our wit’s end. But praise God, who is still on the throne. Praise Jesus, who is still risen from the grave. And praise the Holy Spirit, who still lives and works in all of us who believe in Jesus’ name.
In this and every season, we must honestly ask and answer, is this a season of growing?
In his letter to the Galatians, Paul calls followers of Jesus back to the true gospel of faith in Christ alone. He recalls his journey of faith, reminding all who would hear, that faith in Christ makes all peoples sons and daughters of God’s kingdom. And then Paul instructs God’s people to live by the Holy Spirit to honor God and to serve one another.
Living by the Spirit produces fruit. The fruit of life by the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, forbearance (longsuffering, patience), kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. For the next weeks together in our Sunday services, we will be looking at the fruit that the Spirit produces in us. My prayer is that in this very season, and all our seasons, we are growing people, who with each passing day, look more and more like Jesus our Savior.
May we all keep seeking first our Father’s kingdom. May Jesus always be the Guide we seek. And may the Holy Spirit reign in us as we live to honor God and serve our world.
God bless you all.
Love in Christ,
Pastor Hank (Galatians 5:22-23)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104