Ascension Lutheran Church
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Pastor's Message

Moving Forward ...

Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?"
Isaiah 43:18-19

As Christians, we like to think of ourselves as different, as something special. Well yes, we are and no we're not. You see, we are special and different, but not because of anything we've done. It's not because we go to church on Sundays or attend bible study, read the bible, worship in "the right" space, or even sing in the choir or help with communion. No, we are special and different ONLY because of what Christ has done within us through His Holy Spirit. So why does this matter? Well, it matters because we still live in the world wrought with sin, and we are still sinners. We resist God, just like the world. We behave unholy, just like the world. We forget God, just like the world. See where I'm going?

We like to hold on to things, traditions, and people because they make us feel comfortable. We sometimes hold onto them regardless of what is going on around us. Things could be crumbling around us, and we would still hold on to what we think we know and want. We reach for comfort in things that are not God; not Christ. We are just like the world.

Did Jesus go to the cross because it was what he felt comfortable doing? No. As he was fully God and fully man, he prayed: "Father, if You are willing, remove the cup from me" (Luke 22:42). His human side did not want to do what was to come. But he continued his prayer saying, "Nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done" (v.42). And because Jesus stepped out of His comfort zone for us, things changed. We are alive because He was willing.

This is an example for us as well. We need to step out of our comfort zone, even when we are scared, nervous, or frustrated. We need to listen to God's will for our lives and for our church. We need to be willing to let God work so that we can live. Maybe that means talking about Christ with someone you don’t know. Maybe that means getting involved in activities even when you don't feel like getting out of your comfort zone. Maybe that means worshiping in a different way or in a different space so others can come to know Christ. Maybe that means allowing God to work through His called servants to lead the flock in a new and different direction. Maybe that means supporting more (and possibly different) people in the church. Maybe that even means spending more time each day in prayer and God's Word.

Whatever we do, let us not "dwell on the past." Let us move forward and see what amazing things God has to show us and how He will bless us - if we let Him.

In His Service,
Pastor Tony