10-03-2019

Hi Family,

This week we celebrated Ash Wednesday. A “reality check” kind of day where we are reminded again of the reality of a fragile life and how death looms due to the sin we entered into this world. This is the Lenten journey, a journey of giving up distractions to focus more closely on the stark realities of life, a journey that begins with the reminder “you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen 3:19, ESV). That is not where the journey end however, it is a journey towards Easter. It may start with ashes, but ends in the cross. Whereas the ashes represent death, the cross represents life. For it is on the cross of Christ that death was defeated, and it is in the Christ of the cross our death was exchanged for life.

We might be from dust, but we are eternally alive in Christ. And it is with and from this identity that we live our lives.

We are not what we do. We are not what we eat. We are not who we hang out with. We are not what we think. We are not what people say about us. We are not what we own. We are not how we play. We are not how we do things. We ARE “in Christ”. We ARE “God with us”.

Identity is not shaped by us. Identity is revealed by God. Join us this Lenten journey as we follow Christ. Join us as we follow Christ and discover our true identity. Join us in discovering the “me I don’t know yet”. Join us in discovering the “me I want to be”.

In His service, Pastor Roelof

03-03-2019

Our current series, “Better Together”, we have been looking at what life looks like as God’s church, as God’s family. We are reminded by Paul that church is not something we “go to” or something we “attend” or something we “do on a Sunday”, instead, it is that we “are the church”.

So, to then ask that wonderful “Lutheran” question: what does this mean?

The short history of “the church” is one that is intimately tied with the gospel message, the Good News, the reason we, “as church”, exist. God created everything good and wonderful include humans. And humans, believing the devil’s lie, wanted to be like God so turned their backs on Him by sinning, and have continued to find ways to shut God out of their lives. The triune God of the Bible, in infinite love, had a plan all along. Jesus, the Father’s eternal Son, stepped into time, by the Holy Spirit and through the virgin Mary, to live the life we cannot live, to die the death we deserved to die and to give us the eternal life we can never earn. It is through this: Jesus, God himself, in whom we have the amazing free gift of forgiveness and eternal life. AND, in Jesus we are not only forgiven and set free, but are adopted as sons and daughters of the eternal King…God rescued us AND made us family. It is this family that “is the church”.

So, it is this “church”, this “family” which we have heard is “better together” over the past few weeks. And this Sunday we conclude our series by looking at what “better together” looks like as we live our lives together “as church”, together as family.

In His service, Pastor Roelof