PASTORAL THOUGHTS BY CHUCK COOPER
I woke this morning to discover that the temperature outside was unusually warm. It was almost fifty degrees. For early April that’s nice. Apparently, rumors about spring coming may be well founded. I know I’m dreaming of a green spring. I’m remind of the verse in the Hymn of Promise, “In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be.”
For me spring speaks to my soul as a time for new life, for renewal, and for a reason to once again to hope. Paul wrote, “These three, hope, faith, and love.” We can live in hope during the most hopeless dark times because we find our hope in God. God is sovereign! As I cry over the decline of churches, and the need for church family I must remind myself of the one who first created the “body of Christ.”
Many say to me, “I believe! I just don’t like organized religion.” It is understandable why people say such a thing. Organized religion or churches are often flawed, even very flawed. Why won’t it be flawed? After all, its full of flawed people. Someone once said, “If you find a perfect church don’t joint it.”
Think of the words of this song, “I am the church! You are the church! We are the church together! All who follow Jesus, all around the world! Yes, we’re the church together! The church is not a building, the church is not a steeple, the church is not a resting place, the church is a people.”
Read Romans 12. St. Paul talks about how we are the body of Christ, and each one of us is an important part of that body. When we don’t join in the body we diminish the whole. All I ask is we pray for the body, our church, and all churches. All Christians are party of the “body of Christ.” The body of Christ grows weaker when parts of it are missing.
The word “Advent” is a church word for the time before Christmas. It is designed to encourage the congregation to prepare for the celebration of the birth of our Savior, Jesus. Each year we pause to get our hearts ready. The theme for our church this advent season is “Unwrapping Christmas.” Each week we will unwrap a new part of the story.
December 3 – Zechariah and Elizabeth
December 10 – Mary
December 17 – Joseph
December 24 – Innkeeper [morning services at 8:00 and 10:30 AM]
December 24 – Christmas Eve – Jesus
We will wrap and unwrap many gifts this Christmas. Will one of them be our faith in Christ Jesus, or will Jesus go unwrapped in our hearts? We can help! Come and join us bringing a friend or family alone. Let’s get in line to see Jesus.
I want to take this opportunity to unwrap my appreciation for a wonderful congregation with many people who are striving to be faithful to Christ Jesus, and to loyal to the Federated Community Church. It is because of you that this ministry and mission continues in so many great ways. You are awesome!!
Yes, we have more work to do. Yes, we are not perfect. The truth still holds you are a true and faithful servants of an even more awesome God.