FROM PASTOR MIKE’S DESK:
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I mentioned in a sermon not that long ago how when I go away on a trip of some kind … a youth trip, mission trip, or hunting trip … my wife will begin these big projects. I have come home from these week long trips to find bushes being buzzed off at the ground, kitchen cabinets being renovated, and even rooms of the house being repainted.
Well … the saga continues … except this time I wasn’t gone for a week! This time I went to Rural King and was gone for maybe 30 minutes! I come home and the project my wife had planned to do this summer all of a sudden got moved up by a couple of months. I come home to find her taking the doors off of our kitchen cabinets so that she could start cleaning them and then start painting them.
I’m glad she enjoys these kind of projects … well kind of enjoys them … because they are not things I enjoy doing. Change and I, major change and I really don’t get along well. They actually cause me a great deal of stress. So needless to say … I’m happy when she is done and things are put back together again.
At the time of writing this, she had just started and has a deadline of about a week because we will be hosting the elders at our house. And when she is done, everything will look great! The kitchen will look brand new and I will again enjoy thinking that I’m a great chef!
Pentecost, the day when the disciples receive the gift of the Holy Spirit … it is much like a renovation project. The Holy Spirit comes to the disciples and instantly changes them. As we heard on Pentecost Sunday, the Holy Spirit came to the disciples, they then left the upper room they had locked themselves in, and they began to confidently talk about everything they witnessed while they were with Jesus.
The Holy Spirit took plain old disciples and renovated them! He took the old timid and scared for their life disciples and renovated them into bold and confident mouthpieces for the Christian faith and they started to build God’s Church.
Same kitchen cabinets in our house with a whole new look.
Same disciple with a whole new look and outlook on life.
This renovation the disciples went under is the same one you and I have gone through. Conceived in sin, born into a sinful world, destined to be eternally separated from God’s love and grace … we should be doomed. However, God stepped in through Jesus. Jesus through his life, death, and resurrection squelched sin, defeated death, and as the supreme victor over Satan rules over all things! He did all this so that you and I may be set free from the eternal consequence of sin and enjoy a perfect eternal life with Him.
Through God’s gift of the Holy Spirit … you have been renovated! You have been forgiven and made new! As the Holy Spirit lives and dwells within you, He keeps you in your faith. He gives you a whole new look and outlook on life.
Paul tells the young pastor Timothy … “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord” (2 Timothy 1:7-8a NLT).
Yes, those words were directed toward a young pastor who was trying to find his legs and confidence in ministry, but God also gives these words to you and me so that you and I can find our legs and confidence within a world which is dark and dirty and in desperate need of renovation. The Spirit, the Holy Spirit, given to the disciples, is the same one which is in you! So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord!
As opportunities arise, and they do and will arise, let the Holy Spirit confidently move you into action. Like any renovation project, there are bumps and hiccups along the way. We don’t stop and give up mid project, we find a way to fix it and move forward.
In a sense, our church is going through a renovation project as we continue to work through Covid-19 stuff and search for a Senior Pastor. Our renovation project has hit a few bumps and hiccups along the way, but we keep moving on. We keep moving on, not by our own brute strength but by leaning on each other for support and by confidently trusting in the Holy Spirit, trusting in God to lead us.
By God’s grace, we will make it through this project and just like the kitchen cabinets my wife worked on … we will look great!