Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…

“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is in the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and it leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought, it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.” — Jeremiah 17:7-8

Put yourself in the path of the Gospel. Put yourself in the path of Jesus.

If you read the Jesus story, what you find is that those who were in his pathway were blessed. There were many in ancient Palestine who were disabled, diseased, blind, or dead for that matter. Those in the pathway of Jesus often had their sight restored, their health renewed, and Jesus never encountered a dead body that he did not raise to new life.

That was 2,000 years ago… and today there is no end to human suffering. The followers of Jesus are not promised an escape from the brokenness of body and mind.

Those who believe in God and those who don’t, share the human frailty of flesh and blood. None of us get out of here alive, consequently we should expect to be visited by disease, disaster or the gradual decay of our bodies.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned these words in 1841: “Into every life a little rain must fall.” We should expect nothing less.

In every human story there are a variety of seasons. There are seasons of want and seasons of plenty, there are seasons warmed by the sun and bitter cold winters, seasons of love are sometimes followed by betrayal, as toddlers our steps are unstable, and as our days near their end, we wobble without the assistance of cane or walker. Understanding this reality is a critical part of preparing for the journey ahead.

None of us can anticipate every challenge or disaster, but that should not render us helpless.

Those who encountered Jesus were blessed.

Put yourself in the path of the Gospel. Plant your roots deep by streams of living water.

Life is difficult and dangerous, too difficult, and dangerous to navigate alone. I want to encourage you to tend to your root system.

Trees with deep roots can withstand the storms of time, and seasons of drought. Tend to your root system, the life-giving foundations that will allow you to stand tall in times of trouble.

The time to invest in an emergency fund is long before a financial downturn. The time to invest in community is before you need the help of a community. Put yourself in the path of the Gospel. Show up for worship, bathe yourself in grace, hear words of forgiveness, rub shoulders with other sinners, learn from the stories of others, wash some feet, feed the hungry, shed tears and dry the tears of others, share your fears and brokenness with those who will not judge you or reject you.

Muse upon God’s word, be uplifted by the great hymns of the church, don’t go it alone. When I am alone, I am in bad company.

How are your roots? Good things happen to those who encounter Jesus.

I will see you in Church, we are after all, one day closer.

Pastor Jim

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Remember that we change to our summer schedule with worship services at 8:00 & 10:00 a.m. this Sunday!