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Archive for January, 2009

My Time In D.C.

January 25, 2009 Leave a comment

I witnessed our new President, Barack Obama; sworn in. It was unlike anything I had ever seen. Two million people packed into a 2 mile stretch on our nation’s mall. Everywhere you walked, there were people. I was a stranger to Washington D.C. and a stranger to many of those who I met, and yet I felt right at home. Everyone shared their stories; everyone was there for a common purpose; everyone there embraced those who were around them. Funny, that’s the image in my mind of what the church should be. Isn’t that why we come to be in community with one another? To share our stories, to embrace one another, and to assemble for a common purpose? Yet, we sometimes are so far from that. 

 

People come in and out of our churches with stories to share, and many seldom get heard. Many come to find hope and are looking to find people with common interests, and yet don’t feel welcomed at all. I know Covenant isn’t like that, but we should not let our guard down. We need to make sure it remains that type of place. A place where someone can come from far away and yet feel totally at home. Just like I felt in D.C. these past few days. A place where stories are shared. A place where people come to to find a sense of hope and purpose. A place where their hearts are touched and their sense of call is renewed. I felt that on this trip. There was a sense of unity in the air. In the night Jesus was handed over to his death, he prayed for just that. That we all would be unified as he and the Father were one. We are never told to create unity; we are simply asked to maintain the unity that already exists.

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Miracles

January 16, 2009 Leave a comment

What’s the good word? Well, I have been watching the news for the past two days, and all that I have seen really is the story about the U.S. Airways airplane that landed in the Hudson River. One word that has been used over and over again in the news casts is, miracle. While I don’t disagree that this was nothing but a miracle, it got me to thinking about miracles. As a pastor I am often asked, “Pastor Brad, why don’t miracles happen like they did when Jesus walked the earth?” Great question! Here’s a little secret, in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “Have they stopped?” Really, do miracles still happen? Yes! They most certainly do. But too often they have to be BIG in order for us to classify them as a miracle. A plane landing in the Hudson and no one dying. Someone being cured from an incurable illness.  But what about that mom or dad that works two or three jobs to put food on the table and yet still finds time to be with their children? Isn’t that a miracle? Miracles don’t have to be big, they don’t have to be what some call “magic” for them to be miracles. Take a look around you, there are miracles happening all the time, all around!

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Community

January 8, 2009 Leave a comment

What’s the good word? Well, I’m sitting here in our synod’s youth ministry network and we have been talking a lot about community. We just heard a report about how the synod will be reshaped and reformed by using these little groupings of churches. These churches will need to work together for the good of the church body. Why don’t we want to do that though? If you think about it, we don’t like to work well with others. Is it because we don’t trust others? Are we suspicious? Are we just wanting to take all the glory for our own?  I remember growing up in the country. If anyone had a problem with a tractor or a truck, or a barn issue, neighbors would come and help that person out and they would work on that task together. Leaving home? No worries, you left your home open and the neighbors would stop by to feed the animals or check on the house. Total trust! Total commitment to neighbors helping neighbors. Where is this in the church? Where’s Acts chapter 2? Too often we get caught up in our own little worlds. We want the people to think like us, act like us, and look like us. We don’t want to share our sandbox and we want to do it all ourselves. I don’t think this can continue to happen with the outcome that we will continue to grow. How can we make more Christians and better Christians? Can we accomplish that still doing what we are doing? I believe our focus must change, but we will need to sacrifice some things. But isn’t that what the faith calls us to do anyways?

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