As we celebrate Jeanne Baetjer's life and commit her to the Lord this weekend, I have been reminded of some gospel realities that I often forget amidst the busyness of daily life. As an encouragement I wanted to share a couple with you...
"All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades...but the word of our God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:6b-8) When it comes down to it, our lives are more fleeting than our prideful hearts care to admit. This doesn't mean we aren't valuable; but death reminds me I am less in control than I think I am.
"I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live." (John 11:25) How we end is more important than how we begin. If we end with Jesus, we will live forever. If Jesus has that kind of power, perhaps I don't need to sweat the small stuff as much.
"In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?" (John 14:2) This world isn't our home. Jesus has one planned that will last forever. Travel lightly.
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." (Rev. 21: 4) Mourning, grief and loss are temporary. Nothing is hopeless. Redemption is possible for every situation. God is faithful. "Wait and see" is a truth to live by.
"To Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Savior be glory majesty, power, and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forever more! Amen." Jude 24 - 25. Because of Christ, our joy will last forever.
Over the course of the Fall the preaching series and the Bible studies will dive into the gospel of John. The goal is to take a look at “Jesus in real life.” Have you ever noticed how we may feel uncomfortable talking about Jesus, praying to Jesus, or breaking the barrier and actually sharing our faith in Jesus with someone else? Like any relationship, growing and personal comfort with another takes time. The first goal of the Fall Bible study and preaching series on John is to help Christians learn more and more about the Jesus we say we believe in. And to learn to actually interact with Him more and more on a daily basis.
The second goal is to provide a framework for those who are unsure, questioning, or looking for answers about the Christian faith. For many, our Sunday morning liturgy structure provides a safe framework for learning about Jesus. The Bible Studies will offer opportunities for discussion, questions, and learning in a non-threatening environment.
In addition, I am thrilled that we are launching Alpha this fall. Alpha is specifically designed to provide an easy framework for learning, questioning, and growing in understanding of who Jesus is and what the Bible says it means to be a Christian.
About the ResBlog
Members of staff and Vestry will be posting on the ResBlog to help us think through who we are in light of the gospel so that we might “spur one another on to love and good deeds.”