New pencils with untouched erasers
Sharp, pointy crayons and fresh markers
New clothes and shoes
Crisp, clean backpacks
There is a lot of hope and excitement at the beginning of the school year! There may also be a little bit of apprehension as students worry about getting along with a new teacher, or new classmates. Change is always a mixture of exciting and scary! As we come into this fall at Immanuel there is a lot of change, and I, personally, am very excited! Pastor Jonathan and I have been doing a lot of praying, brainstorming, and planning as we put plans into place. It is our fervent prayer that we are following God’s will as we seek to serve this congregation and lead you all through opportunities to Share, Grow, and Serve!
I’m not going to list all of the opportunities to get involved, as Pastor has already done a great job of that in his letter, but I AM going to echo his encouragement to get involved! We are incredibly blessed to be a part of a community of believers that is excited to do ministry together! It’s easy to become intimidated when we think about going out into the world to share Jesus’ love, but it’s a little easier to take those steps when we are not doing it alone! It’s easy to fall into the trap of being intimated by the language of scripture, or to think that we aren’t equipped to understand these things on our own, but it’s a little easier to crack the cover and dig in when we are walking alongside others in the same boat, and when we can trust those leading use through the pages!
Are we always going to do it perfectly? Nope.
Are we always going to have the right words? Nope.
Are we always going to avoid misunderstand or hurt feelings as we interact with others? Nope.
But, are we in it together? Absolutely!
I was recently reminded by the book “Life Together” by Dietrich Bonhoeffer that it isn’t our perfection, or knowledge, or even common goals that bring us together. We are brought into community through Christ, and Christ alone! “What does this mean? It means, first, that a Christian needs others because of Jesus Christ. It means, second, that a Christian comes to others only through Jesus Christ. It means, third, that in Jesus Christ we have been chosen from eternity, accepted in time, and united for eternity.” (p 21). Later in the same chapter, Bonhoeffer describes,
“But God has put this Word into the mouth of men in order that it may be communicated to other men. When one person is struck by the Word, he speaks it to others. God has willed that we should seek and find His living Word in the witness of a brother, in the mouth of man. Therefore, the Christian needs another Christian who speaks God’s word to him. He needs him again and again when he becomes uncertain and discouraged… He needs his brother man as a bearer and proclaimer of the divine word of salvation… The Christ in his own heart is weaker than the Christ in the word of his brother; his own heart is uncertain, his brother’s is sure.” (pp 22-23).
That’s pretty good stuff, right?! Probably because he pulled all of these ideas directly from scripture! Please take some time to check out just one small section of scripture that addresses this: 1 Corinthians 12
So, here is the invitation: Please, join with us, through Christ, to grow in our relationship with God, to grow in our relationships with each other, and to reach out in service to others, inviting them to do this Christianity thing together with us!
Your sister in Christ,
Tara Barrett, DCE
1 Corinthians 12