From the Pastor’s desk...
The servant church...
“For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45
Dear friends in Christ,
November in America includes the best feast of the year. We gather with family and friends like the Pilgrims and Indians of old to enjoy delicious foods, reflect on the years harvest and give thanks for the blessings God bestows.
Thankfulness can change a mood from sour to sweet, from “we have a problem” anxiety to peace! Would you give thanks for the people who graced your life’s journey?
How does God measure greatness? It is not defined in power and authority, prestige and popularity, status, honor and public acclaim. God honors a life of love. It is how many people you comforted, healed, forgave and loved revealed in a servant attitude.
In addition to my usual preparation and leading worship, teaching and visiting, praying and other duties of ministry I recently presided at three funerals and a wedding. Each person and experience was precious. Each was a servant helper to others. Eric Misener, loving spouse to wife Karie and dad to Brooklynn, was only 45 when cancer took his life. He ran his own landscaping business, restored vintage cars and was generous to friend and family and loved to make you laugh. I presided at their wedding in Yorkville in July of 2000! James, (Jingle) Allen was a union carpenter, served in the Military with five of his brothers during WW2, (he asked us to pray for the troops every Saturday night worship.) mowed the church yard with “Big Red” his lawn mower and a good neighbor. We’d walk by Jingle and Shirley’s house each morning with the dogs, place his Beacon news on the concrete step and often share conversation. Later in life his mind became confused. But he never failed to smile and greet me by my name, “Dave” when I visited him at Willowcrest! Ralph Whitecotton was a mayor of Plano, began his own business, served his country, loved his family and possessed an abiding faith in God. When doctors discovered lung cancer he told them that he had been blessed with a good life and was ready to begin the next chapter. His one regret was leaving his wife lovely Audrey. They were married 65 years this September.
When a friend called to say he and his fiancé wanted me to preside at a wedding at his beautiful home. I smiled from ear to ear. I have known them as friends for years. They shared a mutual respect and deep friendship that blossomed into love for one another. Though very much desired and meeting the criteria for marriage, a wedding ceremony would have to wait! The immediate concerns for children from their first marriages took priority. Having met their responsibilities, they could think of themselves. Surrounded by family, warmed by their love for one another rendering them impervious to the October chill noticed by everyone else, (I was freezing in my cool Pastor’s wool blue suit!) they exchanged long felt marriage vows to love and to cherish until parted by death and sealed it with a warm kiss!
The heart of our Lord ‘s work was to be present in the world reaching out in serving love. To walk with Jesus was not a cozy warm “fuzzy” experience but the call to enter the trenches to “follow me” and “pick up the cross” to unite in sharing Christ’s love through caring for others.
Real life begins at the foot of the cross. Here the ground is level. We are brothers and sisters, equals, no one above or beneath the other. The love of Christ fills us and then overflows in a life of service to others. One day I will look back on my ministry at Our Savior’s and count these experiences among the most treasured! For they were shared with you, the people Christ loves!
Who has made the greatest impact on your life? Give thanks! Know that I am thankful for you!
The youth tackle football and cheerleading and fall band programs are over! I can’t wait to see your children at Sunday School and people of all ages in worship at Our Savior!
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