Hello Brothers & Sisters,
It’s certainly some strange weather we’re having. While the warmer, wet weather may be sending us mixed signals as to what season of the year we’re in at the moment, I think it’s safe to say that Grantham Church is in an exciting season of blessing and growth. I’m so glad that each of you are a part of what the Spirit is doing in our congregation.
I wanted to tell you that I spent a good bit of last Saturday with the church board at a conference called, Cultivating Healthy Leadership Cultures: Transforming Church Boards, held at Elizabethtown BIC. It was well worth our time as we were challenged to be more effective in our leadership roles, and we got to spend some quality time with one another. Please pray for us as we seek to implement some of the things that we learned.
The Lenten season officially began last week with our Ash Wednesday services. It was a meaningful time, in the morning and in the evening service. At the evening service, I preached a 20-minute sermon called, Nothing is Hidden, to usher us into Lent. If you missed the service on Sunday, we began our Lent series, 40 Days in the Desert: Faith Formed in the Wilderness, with a message entitled, Welcome to the Wilderness (1 of 6). You can watch or listen to that on our website, and you can also find other resources. The small group discussion questions are available for individual use or to go further with your small groups.
In this first message of our series, I invited us to see how God wants to use the wilderness (metaphorically speaking) to grow us in our faith. We were encouraged not to waste the opportunities we have in the wilderness seasons of our life to cultivate a deeper relationship with God. For it’s in the wilderness that, like Jesus, we can root our identity and our calling in the truth of who God is and what he wants for our life.
I have experienced this a couple of times in my walk with Christ. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be the person I am today, and likely wouldn’t be pastoring Grantham Church, if I hadn’t drawn closer to God when things seemed to fall apart and I found myself in a dry, barren wasteland. I’m sure that many of you could say the same about your own journey.
While no sane person would ever ask God for the wilderness, it is encouraging to know that the Spirit meets us there in profound ways, and he is prepared to use our hardships for our good. But of course, we must submit ourselves to the Father who loves us and will not forsake us in the desert.
After communion at the end of the service, we introduced Lisa Mays as our new Communications Director. Thank you for giving her and Ed such a warm welcome to our church. I know they are looking forward to becoming a regular part of the Grantham family. Again, she will start work in the office on Monday, February 26, and will begin attending regularly on Sunday, March 4.
Finally, this Sunday we will pick back up with Jesus’ walk in the desert and take a look at his first temptation in Luke 4:1-4, and then jump forward to Mark 8:31-38 where we see how Jesus denied himself in order to be obedient to the Father. We will then consider what it looks like for us to grow in our faith by learning to put God and others first. Join us for the next installment in the series, a message entitled, It’s Not About You (2 of 6).
I leave you with this verse of Scripture for the week and invite you to meditate on it throughout the season of Lent.
“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.” James 4:7-8 NIV
Grace & Peace,
* This post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org