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Weekly Update from Pastor Hank – July 30

Dear Church Family and Community,

Each summer, our family gets a “cabin” a little over an hour away. It’s always a blessing to spend some intentional time in nature. Surrounded by hills and valleys, trees, and all sorts of creatures found by our children and their cousins, it is a welcomed change of pace from life at our house and life in our city. This trip always reminds me of my developing love for nature. God has blessed us to be able to witness the majesty and sovereignty of the Creator as we enjoy the creation.

I wish I could tell you that I always loved nature. I did not. Even to this day, I would choose my own bed, rather than sleeping in a camping tent. I would gladly take cooking inside for a week rather than having to cook every meal outside for a week. I wish I could tell you that it’s not just about comfort; but comfort tends to win out. Nevertheless, what I love most about nature is how close it brings me to God. The view from a mountaintop, a starry night, a stilled lake, and animals from creepy crawlers to bears that made me run for cover – nature draws me closer to God.

I have found that we learn about God from what God has chosen to reveal to us. The Spirit helps us by illuminating Scripture. The Son Jesus helps us by interpreting what God really is like. And God’s creation, in its creativity, awesomeness, and diversity, can reveal for us that our God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and ever present. Creation, as Jesus reminds us, gets what it needs from God; therefore, we can trust and hope that God will provide all that we need and more as we live to seek first God’s kingdom.

Several years ago, I really started to reflect and then transform my thinking in regards to creation. Creation is given to us as a blessing, drawing us closer to God and revealing to us more about who God is. Creation however, is also given to us as a responsibility. God has tasked us with stewarding this creation. So, while it is good to appreciate the wonders of God’s creation, we must do so while also working to care, maintain, and in some cases protect the creation God has left for all people.

This week we will continue our current sermon series, Called to Steward: Growing in Christlikeness, Caring, and Trust. We will do so by focusing on the call to steward our creation. To help us in this work, we will be focusing on Genesis 1:26-28. For more context in preparing for this week’s service, it would be good to read and pray through all of Genesis 1. As you read, I invite you to reflect on the following questions:

…What does this creation story reveal about God? …How do you understand God, in light of what God has created? …What role does God gift us as humans within this creation? …How are can you be better steward of the world around you?

I remain very grateful for you all, and blessed by you all. For all the struggles this season has brought, God working through all of you continues to bear fruit for the kingdom and God’s glory. This is a testimony to our God and to you, the body of Christ here.

May the Lord continue to shine light in and through you, and may we all learn, and grow in loving God and in loving one another.

God bless you all. And take care.

Hank

Love in Christ,

Pastor Hank
(Genesis 1:26-28)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104
E: pastorhank@harrisburgbic.org

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