September Blog

As Christians, we live in a great balance between learning from the past, remembering,
reconnecting with past learning and understanding, and the
creativity of the possibilities of the future that God leads us into. Sometimes
there’s a lot of tension between the two dynamics. We are likely to be more
comfortable in what we know, and not move into something new. When
we let go too quickly to wisdom of the past, we end up having to do everything
from scratch, and backtracking, as we try to relearn what others who
went before us suffered or grew through. Having a good memory for what
works, and what doesn’t work is a great blessing to share. We want to remember
what Christ has done for us, and remember all the experiences of
Christians through the past 2,000 years.
Sometimes this approach goes too far, and we are confined, restricted so
that we are entombed or enslaved by the past and overzealous restrictions
that hold back new, healthy growth. We are made in the image of God;
God is a Creator, God is The Creator. Made in God’s image, we too are
creators (always remembering it’s with a small ‘c’). We often take the creativity
out of our lives, starting with children, telling them to only stay within the
lines that we establish. Wherever we are, we are often told to stay within the
lines of someone else’s outline, and told to learn, pray, play, and work within it.
Jesus Christ sets us free to live more closely and creatively with God. He
teaches us to overcome the total intimidation that so many people may
want to place in our lives, our minds and hearts. In Christ, we can live toward
God, with God first. What God says about us, what God tells us about
ourselves, provides great hope, strength, and empowerment. In Christ, we
receive a first-hand experience in our relationships with God, and the promise
of real salvation is fulfilled. In Christ, we learn that salvation is not a onetime
event, but part of a life-long process where God continues to lead us
to grow, deepen, and mature in our love. And we look for and are led to
seek new ways to commit and re-commit ourselves to that most important
relationship with God. In Christ, we are set free to be the original God made
us to be, and yet….
We are building on and learning from the past, living in the lessons for living
life fully. When we are close to Christ, we seek to follow him fully, and then
set a place for those who follow us. We are led away from focusing on ourselves,
and better prepared to make sacrifices that bless others in effective
ways. We are also prepared to share with those who will be here long after
we are long gone, as Jesus, and all the disciples who came before us have
done for us. I’m grateful for so many people who created a path for us all to live
and move through as disciples, and the ability to learn and grow from
their experiences. And I’m grateful for the empowerment to live creatively
as Jesus has taught us, and the Holy Spirit inspires us to do. As
the children are headed back to school and we begin another regular
season, we know we are faced with some challenges we didn’t
count on. Yet we trust that as God helped others in the past overcome
their challenges, God will help us see how God can turn them into
blessings and opportunities moving forward. There are creative solutions
to the challenges and disappointments we face. We are not
defined, confined, enslaved, or entombed by anger or bitterness; we
are set free by God’s creative power, revealed most fully in the Resurrection
of Jesus. Please join us in living the life of faith God through
Jesus Christ provides to all people everywhere. May we build on past
blessings and wisdom as we move forward in new, creative ways to
live our faith in dynamic ways together.
– Tim