Maybe every winter feels long when you are wandering through it. I am not much of a winter guy. I don’t like the snow, especially if I need to be somewhere. I don’t like the sun going down so early. I don’t like the way that gray winter clouds form a heavy sheet over the earth. I think we’ve had enough winter.
Pastor Tim's blog
The sign of any great moment in life is that we do not want it to end. Moments like singing Silent Night in our candle lit sanctuary or slowly sipping coffee on Christmas day surrounded by family. In these moments, we are keenly aware of our emotions and the Spirit’s presence. We just want to breathe it in and stay there like Peter on the mountain with a transfigured Jesus.
Despite communicative technology that brings people together with immediacy and clarity, many scholars speculate that people living in our society today are some of the loneliest ever. While communication is easy, the medium does not promote intimacy. Thus, many people in our society do not understand real intimacy and thus struggle to understand real community.
The Church is buzzing. Summer vacations have mostly come to an end. August has reminded me of the many important ministries that happen through this congregation. In August, church workers plan and prepare for a year ahead. Wisely, we lay a foundation from which God can construct lives of discipleship. It reminds me of Christ’s classic parable from Matthew 7, where the wise man’s house is built on rock so as to withstand rain, flood, and wind. The Church was buzzing this August laying a foundation from which our ministries can flourish.
Summer is such a sweet time of the year. The cherry tree behind our house has bright red, tart cherries. The orchards around Hagerstown will be advertising fresh peaches and watermelons. These fresh fruits hit the spot with delight and satisfaction on a hot summer day.
Christ is Alive! After weeks of joining Jesus on the long plod to the cross and Easter morning, the time has come to celebrate. As people of faith, we join with Christians around the world celebrating the greatest event in the Christian narrative. Christ conquers death and with it, human sin. What a morning, when bleakness turns to hope for God’s good earth.
We Brethren like to think we take Jesus very seriously. We say we have no creed but the New Testament; and if we had a creed within the New Testament, it would be the words of Jesus; and if we had to choose a creed out of Jesus’ words, we would probably choose the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus is incredibly important to us.
Advent is upon us. This is a time of preparation and a season of waiting for our Messiah to come. We await the Christ child in the familiar Christmas story. Why do we wait so expectantly? Every year we know what happens in the story, but do we ever allow the story and our lives to converge. This is a season of hope, expectancy, waiting, and advent in our Church.
For the last month, this church has been studying together what it means to be the church. It can be far too easy to get lost in the mess of expectations for what the church should be and what it should be doing. Some might say the church should exist to help others, both near and far. Some might say the church should exist to build people up in faith and send them out to witness. Some might say the church should exist to teach the way of Jesus to children and youth. Some might say the church should be about reconciliation, standing against injustice, or restoring broken communities.
For more than two decades, August has meant only one thing to me: school. When August came, I knew that school was right around the corner with only a couple more weeks to squeeze in that summertime relaxation. Come August, the store aisles become lined with pencils, notebooks, calculators, and binders. Those items used to make me cringe as my last few weeks of freedom began to fade away. The beginning of August was a dreaded time, but soon enough school would start back up and the normal rhythms of life would resume.