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Pastor’s Column 4/28/2024

PASTOR’S COLUMN


“This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge ofGod’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ.”      Ephesians 4:13, NLT                                                                            

                                                   

“Again and Again, Until!”

 

The other day I glimpsed at the preview of an upcoming interview with CBC News Correspondent, Norah O’Donnell, and Pope Francis. Aging and frail, the Pontiff spoke with confidence of God’s plan for the Christian faith. When asked, “What do you say to so many of the faithful, who are leaving the church today?’ The pope smiled with the confidence of a seasoned Shepherd. He gently said, “Do not give up on the church, because the church is who we are.” I found strength in those words. Our faith is not one of quick results; but of learning and living the teachings of our Lord, until we all become more like Him. Always in the long history of the Church, there have been periods when people have strayed; and for some, enthusiasm has waned. This often has been the result of our inability to stay the course with the One who never gives up on us, to use Max Lucado’s sentiment. Even in the ministry of Jesus – despite the healings and miracles, there are some who walked away. The Scripture says, “At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted Him.” (John 6:66, NLT). Jesus said, He knew from the beginning that some of His followers would notremain with Him. The urgency of our Christian faith is to remain with Christ; and not to neglect the gathering and ministry of the faith community we share. Paul told the Christians in Ephesus, that it is within our faith community – the body of Christ – we are equipped to grow and mature in the faith. The maturity of our faith, and the unity of all Christians, is contingent upon the special gifts God has placed within the Body. The winds of change in the world, should never steer us off course. We must remain both vigilant and focused on our faith teachings. A decade ago, an elder minister friend went to be with the Lord at age 98. His desire to become more like Christ, caused him to read the entire Bible every year; even days, before he died. We must remain with the Lord, until we become like Him!

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