Dear Members and Friends of St. John,
Our nation observes Labor Day this weekend. Public school is in full swing. The Alaska State Fair will soon be over for another year. So, many folks settle in to the school year schedule that seems to be the closest to “normal” the we experience each year.
But, what is a normal schedule? Especially in our hype-fast changing world what is normal? Rev. Dr. Dale Meyer is President of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, my alma mater – 2 times. In a recent devotion Dale quoted Thomas Friedman from a recent book, “Thank You for Being Late.” On this 10th anniversary of the I-Phone, which made its debut in 2007, Friendman wrote about 2004.
“Facebook didn’t even exist yet, Twitter was still a sound, the cloud was still in the sky, 4G was a parking space, “applications” were what you sent to college. LinkedIn was barely known and most people thought it was a prison, Big Data was a good name for a rap star, and Skype, for most people, was a typographical error. All of those technologies blossomed…around 2007” (page 25).
Friedman continue to talk about change.
“The rate of technological change is now accelerating so fast that it has risen above the average rate at which most people can absorb all these changes. Many of us can’t keep pace anymore. ‘And that is causing us cultural angst,’ said (Eric) Teller.” (Friedman, 31).
Meyer suggests this rapid change “helps explain why everything’s going crazy.” So what is normal, and where do we find grounding and a foundation for our lives in our rapidly changing world?
Jesus saw some of the same issues and shared His wisdom for life in what we call the Sermon on the Mount.
24 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." (Matthew 7:24-27)
Please note, before someone can put Jesus’ words into practice and find grounding they first must hear those words. Where do we “hear” God’s Word? We can hear the Word of God on our own through personal Bible reading and devotions. That is beneficial. But, God intends for His people to be a community, to work together in facing the changes and chances of life. Regular worship gives us an opportunity to hear God’s Word with other believers, and gives us a chance to help one another in facing the challenges in our walk of faith.
Also, Sunday School starts its school year schedule on Sunday, September 10. In our classes people hear the Word of God and discuss it’s application to our lives in ways that don’t happen in worship.
And, don’t forget, the Word of God is not just found in a book. The best communication of God and His love and His direction for our lives is found in JESUS, who is The Word of God. (John 1:1-3, 14)
That’s also why Dr. Meyer quotes Hebrews 10 in his devotion. Meyer says, “We need our pastors and congregations to gather as many people as possible into the peace of Christ’s Church.” “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
So how are you and your family facing the rapid changes in our world? In your lives? Have you let the rock of God’s Word provide you grounding in your rapidly changing world? Are you worshipping regularly? Will you attend Sunday School?
A Child of God, Seeking God’s Grounding in This Rapidly Changing World,
P.S. Here is a nice article on Rod Christiansen as head football coach at Palmer High. https://www.adn.com/sports/2017/08/17/palmer-football-coach-doesnt-seek-spotlight-but-he-deserves-its-beam/
P.P.S. Kimberly McDowell played in worship on Wednesday, August 9. This high school member has been playing in worship for a number of years. This is the last time she will play before going to college. We got her a cake. Here are some pictures https://goo.gl/photos/Ga4DDWNK44uEQctF9
P.P.P.S. Here are pictures from 2 recent fishing trips
August 16 – With Gerry Zellar and Paul Scott - https://goo.gl/photos/imU2rYubXwZzxksB7
August 23 with Mary’s friend, Aaron Smith - https://goo.gl/photos/Umg4sd5jXNM8mN9d9
ABOUT ‘THOUGHTS FROM THE PASTOR’ - I am sending these e-mail messages, hopefully weekly, to all St. John members and friends whose e-mails I have. (I am regularly adding new names of friends and members – in case you are just receiving this e-mail for the first time.) However, if you do not want to receive this e-mail, please let me know, and I’ll gladly leave your name off my list for this message.