Hello Brothers & Sisters,
It was a blessing to have United Voices of Praise leading us in worship last Sunday. I sat in the back of the sanctuary with my family through the last half of the service, and so it was apparent to me that many of you were moved by the passionate singing of the black gospel tradition. I know it’s not everyone’s preferred style of worship, nor did we know all of the songs, but that’s OK. Part of being convergent in our worship together is that we embrace multiple styles of music, as far as it helps folks in our church family express their faith and grow as disciples of Jesus.
This reminds me of what life is often like in relationships with close friends, a spouse, our children, grandchildren, etc. Our love and concern for others should lead us to regularly put aside our own personal preferences for the joy and edification of the other person. Love requires it, actually. Maybe you’ve experienced that the way I have.
For example, this past weekend my wife and I took our 6 year old son, Kainan, to see How To Train Your Dragon 3, a new movie that just came out in theaters. I confess that there was a significant part of me that had no interest in seeing a kid’s movie about dragons. I’d never seen the first two, and there were several other movies I would have rather watched. And to top it all off, I wasn’t really in the mood. But when it came time to go, my love for my son was what empowered me to enter into the experience with my whole heart. I saw the joy that it brought him, and that brought me joy. So, not only did that bless me, but the movie turned out to be pretty good too. In fact, it even pulled at the heart strings a little bit—all because I was open to the experience.
May we continue to be a church that stays open to how the Spirit wants to move in our church, especially in ways that we wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves. Thank you for helping Grantham to be a place where God’s Spirit can surprise us through a diversity of speakers, musicians, and worship styles, for the glory of his name and the edification of the Body of Christ.
Finally, this coming Sunday is Transfiguration Sunday on the church calendar. I’ll be preaching on Luke 9:18-36. What is the theological significance of this oft-neglected episode in the life of Jesus? And how do we apply this rich message to our lives? In a sermon entitled, Gazing on the Glory of Jesus, I’ll be sharing how the transfiguration of Jesus calls us to live transfigured lives, by accepting who Jesus is—fully human, fully God, final revelation of the Father—and by following him as his disciples. I hope you will join us for worship and communion this Sunday, as we prepare to enter the Lenten season.
Stay tuned for more on our upcoming Lent series. In the meantime, let’s begin to prepare our hearts for a special season in the church that calls us to reflect on our need for God.
Grace & Peace,
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