Jesus answered, "I am the way and
the truth and the life. - John 14:6
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
What a summer it has been already! Our Summer Escape outreach ministry is now well underway. I cannot begin to thank all of you for your hard work with the Memorial Day parade, the Rummage Sale, VBS, Summerfest, the rooftop July 4 celebration, and the choir concerts at retirement homes. This weekend, we start the housing rehabilitation project. The youth group is currently in West Virginia on their mission trip. And don't forget, next week, on July 19, we have the choir concert and spaghetti dinner to raise money for our projects in Kenya.
The biggest success I have seen with these ministries is all about relationships. As the session began our visioning process for the church, we frequently returned to the phrase "We serve to build relationships to share the gospel." The whole reason we reworked Mission Possible into Summer Escape was to create more opportunities to build relationships over time. At each of these events, you all have done a wonderful job reaching out and building relationships with children and their families as well as with each other. We have also grown in relationship with the Lord as we see Him answer one prayer after another. Say the word "auger" to Andy Hromoko and watch his face light up.
As we build on these relationships, the good news of Jesus Christ shimmers at the finish line as the end goal. We long to bring these men, women, and children into the family of God, as we follow Jesus' command to "Go and make disciples." Our sermon series and study guide on Jesus' "I Am" statements remind of this each week.
This Sunday, we will be considering Jesus' statement, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life." In this age of "define your own truth," it is a difficult but much-needed teaching. I keep thinking about those boys who were stuck in the cave in Thailand. Their rescuers knew the way to life. There was only one way out, and if the boys did not trust the truth of what the divers were saying, they would be condemning themselves to death. The Gospel is even more true, even more life-giving than that.
When we humans were stumbling around in the dark, the Father sent us a rescuer, Jesus His own son. He didn't just show us the way, he created the way. What if the boys had been trapped with not only water but a cave-in blocking their way? It would have taken major dynamite power to blast through. Jesus in his dunamis/dynamite power became our way out, our way into the presence of God the Father himself. This is the good, great, incredible news of the Gospel!
Psalm 86:11 says, "Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness." May God continue to show us and teach us the truth of His way, that we may experience His abundant life and share it with those in our neighborhoods and around the world.