Pastor's Corner

23 Nov
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Mid-Week Challenge

It is hard to believe but Thanksgiving is tomorrow!  Families will come together for the traditional meal and celebrate the blessings of life.  Football on the couch, leftover turkey sandwiches and the afternoon nap are all part of the tradition of Thanksgiving.  Traditions mean a lot to most of the folks I know.  Traditions give us something to look forward to and to pass on to our children.  A recently added tradition is the Black Friday shopping day.  This is the official mark to the beginning of Christmas as stores slash their prices to lure shoppers.  The day gets its name because retailers are looking to put their financial bottom line back into the “black” from sluggish sales in the fall, but in previous years the name has come to mean something more dark.  It is at these times we see some of the worst behavior from people.  Shoving, pushing, and even walking over people to get into a store so that we can save a few dollars.  Reports of physical altercations over limited hot items of the season make us really look bad as a people.  So how do we respond? Some areas have chosen to go with a “Blessed Friday” where they encourage their people to serve in their community.   It is geared to put the focus of Americans’ giving back on Jesus’ love – rather than tangible store-bought gifts.  Others suggest simply going on line and shopping to avoid the crowds and drama all together. 

The big take away for me with this tradition is that Americans are searching and God wants us to engage our culture.  A recent study showed that the churches that continue to grow are the ones with the most conservative theology.  The study reported:

“Clergy and congregants of the growing churches held firmly to “traditional” Christian beliefs and were more diligent in practices such as prayer and Bible reading. That includes a more literal interpretation of the Bible and greater openness to the idea that God intervenes in the world.”

People are looking for answers, but not just any answers.  Americans want something they can believe in, something unchanging and foundational they can adopt and pass on.  These findings should bring us great hope and excitement.  During this Thanksgiving and Christmas season we can show the love of Christ to a world who is looking!  You don’t have to go out at midnight on Friday morning to find ways to engage in the culture.  Your home, work and place where you buy your groceries will have lots of people who need to see the love of Jesus within you! We have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.  Count among your blessings the fact that God wants to use you to share Christ with a world that is in need of Him.   

Serving the Savior

Bro. Jonathan

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