A message from the pastor

What do you seek?

Jesus: First words in John

Friends in Christ,

After 30 months of pandemic, almost 7 months of war, and so many transitions in our economies, our families, our schools, and in our church, it is a good time to get back to basics and ask questions of priority. Jesus does this in the Gospel of John, where his own first question is, “What do you seek?”

Re-Covenant Sunday and the month of September are a great time for this question.

What I wish for may not be possible.

 What I seek is where I’ll put my focus, energy, assets, and spirit.

I seek to be a good Christian in our Biblical spirit. Unfortunately that separates me from some people who use the term Christian, and some who miss the spirit of the Bible. But I hope and pray that it unites me with Jesus’ way, God’s spirit and—in humility and love—with you at NHCC.

It’s impossible to distill the Gospels and Epistles to a few words, but certainly these are there: love your neighbor as yourself. God comes not to condemn the world but to save it. Whenever we give a cup of water, feed sheep, welcome a stranger, or all the other elements of the Last Judgment, we’re on the right track. Also, let the children come, don’t exile those who differ (once upon a time it was lepers and tax collectors…) and if you have more coats than you need, share them. Stewardship for Jesus ranges from giving 2 pennies to giving 100%, and most of us are fine in the modest range. But don’t hoard because cheerfulness comes from giving. So I seek a world of inclusion, respect for women’s rights, peacemakers who are blessed, sharing, and a society without masters and slaves but, as Paul says, where all are one in Christ Jesus. And, if my neighbor happens to be Jewish or Muslim or atheist (as mine are at the Parsonage), I can be one with them in God’s huge tent, too.

That’s what I seek. But whether you call it evil, brokenness, the limits of materialism, the injuries of life— whatever you call the impediments to what we seek—they are there and they are powerful. So those who would wage war, spread lies, hoard, or injure others are out there. Un-Christian economies are out there.  Injustice is out there. So say the prophets, the authors of the Epistles, and the savior, Jesus. That’s why I seek what our church offers, too. Community, morality, support, prayer, music, children, honesty, and grace. Church offers Jesus. So thank God for that and thank God for you, as we re-covenant this September.

See you soon and peace,

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