Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God. Whenever I pray, I make my requests for all of you with joy, for you have been my partners in spreading the Good News about Christ from the time you first heard it until now. And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
We’ve hit some choppy waters as a congregation and some of us are getting bounced around. Change is never easy, and there have been some changes taking place. Some of us don’t like some of the inevitable changes that have come in our music ministry, there are some questions being asked about our mission efforts, and our building is not new and pristine anymore. It is showing it’s age and use and we’re going to have to raise some money to fix things like the septic system. I admit, that doesn’t get me real excited, but maybe we can pair that effort with the air-conditioning effort. For every dollar raised for the septic system, the next dollar goes to AC. Just a thought.
I admit, I’m getting bounced around a bit. I want St. Andrew to be the “Good Ship Lollipop” and for everybody to be happy. I want remodeling and building projects to be easy and fast with little or no fundraising turmoil. I want…I want…I want. Maybe that’s where the problem is…I want. And if I’m in “want” mode, I’m not in “surrender” mode. How did the Serenity Prayer put it?
Living one day at a time; enjoying one moment at a time; accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; taking, as He (Jesus) did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it; trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with Him forever in the next.
I believe God is doing good work in us and that the messiness is all part of the good work. Maybe the struggle and messiness causes us to throw up our hands and give up. Maybe that’s when the good work really begins because in the moment “I can’t,” “God can” because the whole show is God’s not mine from the get go. When I get out of the way and become the helper holding the screwdriver and flashlight, some pretty amazing things have happened as God’s Spirit uses me to do God’s good work instead of me trying to get God to help me do my mediocre work. True, I have to show up and participate, but when it is God calling the shots and getting the glory it is amazing what can happen. [Romans 11:36 For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever!]
Ephesians 2:8-10 summarizes all this so well:
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
I’m saved by grace. Ego can get in the backseat. I am enough and have been given specific tools through which I can participate in God’s good work. I am surrounded by others who are also saved by grace and have been invited to make a difference in this world as God’s gifted people.
In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly. Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.
See you Sunday. Here’s what I have on my desk…
LET’S CELEBRATE! Brian Mayo, who has served as our Seminary Intern, graduates from Seminary School on Saturday, June 10th and completes his Internship at St. Andrew. Please join us as we recognize his accomplishments and congratulate Brian with a celebration between services this Sunday, June 11th!
VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL PREPARATIONS ARE IN FULL SWING! We will have a table in the Fellowship Hall between services this Sunday with opportunities for you to donate needed items or sign up to volunteer during the week of June 26 – 30.
9:00 AM-11:30 AM: Maker Fun Factory Vacation Bible School: $35.00
11:30 AM-2:00 PM: Music Maker Arts Camp: $35.00 (includes lunch)
Register YOUR CHILDREN now at www.andrewpres.org