He is risen indeed. Alleluia!!! It’s been an exciting Lenten season here at Grace Lutheran Church. Many of you reading may remember that Ash Wednesday of 2017, Rev. Joe Ardy preached his first sermon at Grace; later moving on to become “Just the Vacancy Pastor” on Easter Sunday. This year, our new Sr. Pastor Doug Widger preached his first sermon at Grace on Ash Wednesday. Lent is indeed a wonderful time of year. Where do we go next though? The Savior is risen, the gates are open
and we have been saved. Yay for us; but what about those around us? Does your hairstylist Sally know that she has been saved? Does Johnny ever mention Jesus while you’re waiting for your morning coffee? Do your family members know who the savior is and that they have been given the free gift of heaven? These are questions that need to be asked but far too often get ignored or simply forgotten.
Our vision at Grace is “Bringing the Hope of Christ to our Community”. I’ve been thinking about that vision more and more lately about what it means. Who have I shared this vision with? If
I’m honest, it’s probably not as many people as I should. For despite my extroverted nature, I can be quite shy.
Being shy is not a hindrance to doing ministry and living out this mission. During March, I found myself filling a very specific role for people I know and complete strangers; a bucket. Allow me to explain. I found myself on the receiving end of people who were just having a very difficult time with work, family and other areas of their lives and for some reason many felt no fear in sharing these things with me. I didn’t say much in a lot of these conversations and by doing so learned an important lesson that my parents and teachers have been telling me for years; listen closely.
These people I spoke with were both close to me and complete strangers. They rung out their sponges and “dirty water” into a bucket and started out clean. It’s exactly like when we come to God with our confessions and ask for forgiveness. We take to God the dirtiest parts of our lives and ring out the gunk and his Son comes by not to just make sure our sponge is clean, but to give us a new sponge. For us who become buckets in life, know that it is ok. We are all called to be different things as Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:28 “And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating and various kinds of tongues.” (ESV)
So find your gift, and use it to Bring the Hope of Christ to our Community.
Nick Rittgers – DCE Outreach