From the Pastor’s Study – January 2012

“So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

I’m always amazed by how quickly we move from Advent and Christmas into Epiphany and the time after Epiphany (the revealing of who Christ is as Messiah). It seems like we just get all prepared for Christmas, and it’s over. It’s a bit like all the preparation we do for a wedding or big party. The planning take months of preparation, but the event comes, and in one evening it’s quickly over. Then we go back to the way things were before the big party.

I wonder how often Christmas is like this for us? How quickly do we go back to the way things were before Christmas? Before Christ’s coming? If we think about what this really means; it’s as if we go back to the way things were before Christ was born. Often, I think we go back to living our lives as if the Savior of the world was never born.

Thankfully, the truth of the matter is this; no matter what we do, CHRIST HAS COME! And this fact changes everything for us, especially when we acknowledge what Christ has done for us. There is a story I once heard about a London businessman named Lindsay Clegg. He was selling a warehouse property that he owned. The building had been empty for months and needed repairs. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows, and thrown trash around the inside.

As Mr. Clegg showed a prospective buyer the property, he took great care to say that he would replace the broken windows, bring in a crew to correct any structural damage, and clean out the garbage. “Forget about the repairs,” the buyer said. “When I buy this place, I’m going to build something completely different. I don’t want the building; I want the site.”

Compared with the renovation God has in mind, our efforts to improve our own lives are as trivial as sweeping a warehouse slated for the wrecking ball. When we become God’s, the old life is over (2 Cor. 5:17). He makes all things new. All he wants is the site and the permission to build.

This year I would like to challenge us all to become fully God’s. The good news is that we don’t need to worry about what our OLD-selves look like, because God loves us, even with our brokenness and garbage the way we are! God will take us, and clean us up, and make us new creations.

You called me as your pastor now about a year and a half ago. You asked me at that time to help make House of Prayer a place where you are the ones involved in ministry. To make this happen, we each need to look at the ways God makes us new and can use us to help others and to care for others. I encourage you to think about NEW ways you can get involved with God’s ministry through House of Prayer. This means trying something new. Maybe it’s attending a Bible study. Maybe it’s reading Scripture for worship or greeting people on Sunday morning. Christ is counting on us all to make a difference in the world.

So, I encourage you this year to find one or two ways that will stretch you outside of your comfort zone. Try something at House of Prayer you have never done before. You might be amazed with the way God uses this new activity, ministry or gift to renew your faith or to help make someone else a new creation! – Blessings to you this new year!

Pastor Dan

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