Our church is doing a sermon series on Colossians right now. The above verses are so fitting for what is happening with our church and how the church is allowing Christ to take over and not the crises that keep cropping up on us.
A little over a year ago it was announced that by mid-2013 or Sr. Pastor of 20+ years would be leaving our church to follow God’s call into a Marriage and Family Care Ministry. A search committee would be formed to look for a new Sr. Pastor and in the mean time Pr. Russ would still be around until a new Sr. Pastor was found. Those of us that have been around a while were not shocked at God’s call on Pr. Russ’ life but were sad to even think about another Pastor leading our church. And we still had Pr. Dan, Pr. Paul, and Pr. Phil plus the rest of the staff that would be consistent and staying on. So we took it all in, prayed about God’s direction and trusted God to get us through this.
Last December I sat with my good friend who was also my direct ministry report in missions, Pr. Dan as he explained that what they had thought was Parksinson’s Disease was actually ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He indicated that he would be around for over a year and hoped to transition out of ministry by the end of 2012. But that is not the way it happened. Pr. Dan’s disease has progressed much faster than he and his wife, Heidi had thought and he retired in March, 2012. We have kept up with his Caringbridge site and have seen Dan and Heidi’s total dependence on Jesus during this time of crisis and I personally have been so humbled by their walk with the Lord through all of this. This has been so difficult for all of us at MGEFC but we follow Dan and Heidi’s lead and are completely dependent on the Lord to get us through this too.
In the last few weeks we have received email after email from the prayer chain about people from our church going through major health problems. The father in law of an elder with a serious illness, a long time member of the church going through bypass surgery and subsequently acquired a rare and serious infection that will keep him hospitalized for maybe a total of a month, the daughter of our youth Pastor with a serious throat infection that has caused her to be hospitalized twice and who is looking at surgery on Tuesday, and finally our Sr. Pastor again, who fell off of a ladder doing home repairs and has shattered his ankle and heal and is also having surgery on Tuesday. And the list goes on… All of this going on in so short a period of time could have crippled our church. But again we were completely dependent on Christ and did not give into the crisis.
One might think…boy that church is under attack! Those people better watch out! I wonder what’s next? But…just think of this…if the evil one is trying so hard to attack us, what is he so afraid of? We must be doing something right for him to be working so hard at trying to discourage us. What are we doing right? Well we believe this…
1. Jesus is God Col. 1:15
2. Jesus is the creator of all things and holds it all together Col. 1:17
3. Jesus began the church! Col. 1:18
(these 3 things taken from my sermon notes from this morning)
So if Jesus is God, is the creator of all things (that includes us!), He holds everything He created together AND He began the church, why would it surprise anyone that Jesus is protecting us from the evil one right now. We could be down and out. The leadership could feel as if they can’t take another crisis or illness. But what is happening? Services go off seemingly without a hitch. God has begun the healing process in the elder’s father in law and the elder’s wife’s face showed true joy today as she told me about answered prayer. The long time member’s family is hanging in there and is trusting on God to bring him through all of this. The youth Pastor’s daughter will finally get some relief from the pain she has been in from this infection and Pr. Russ will be up and around in no time. Who says God doesn’t perform miracles anymore? Not me because I know JESUS IS GOD and He IS holding it all together because He began this church!