St. John's Family,
I want to begin by sharing my heartfelt thanks for the care, warmth and love that you have extended to the Leight family. The thoughtful cards and messages, wonderful meals and treats, beautiful flowers - I could go on and on... your generous welcome has been wonderful. Thank you for your warm hospitality and know it has been a great blessing to us!
Few will argue that virtually every element of our lives has been impacted by COVID. That statement is true in our individual households, and for the St. John's congregation as a whole. So many aspects of our work and ministry have paused. As someone very eager to learn about and join in the great work being done here in Christ's name, not being able to jump in has been, well, frustrating at times. I'm sure you have experienced those frustrating moments as well. Yet you've faithfully pressed on. Thank you for your commitment to Christ's work here at St. John's throughout the craziness of COVID.
Our current situation has gotten me thinking about what it means to follow Christ's calling. Hearing those words - following Christ's calling - likely takes our thoughts to the first disciples, mending their fishing nets by the Galilean sea. Christ walks by, says "follow me," and Peter, Andrew, James and John drop everything to follow in a life-changing moment. As people committed to our Lord, we certainly have those watershed moments when we experience Christ, perceive His calling, and commit our lives to Jesus. But is that merely a one-time event? I don't think so. I sense that choice to follow Jesus is made much more frequently than we often realize.
See, I believe God is always with us, present in the person of the Holy Spirit. In the course of our daily lives we are constantly seeing, hearing and encountering new situations and opportunities. As that occurs, the Holy Spirit prompts us. Nudges us. Give this person a call. Respond to that message. Try that... even though you've never done anything like that before! As we respond to those nudges, I believe we are living out Christ's calling to faithfully follow Him. That call continues throughout our lives.
In my very brief time at St. John's, I've already had multiple people share with me how they've recently stepped out in faith, serving God in a new way. Serving in a way that, though a bit intimidating, was clearly in response to a perceived nudge from God. Whether by participating or assisting in our restarted worship, serving in leadership, or joining a Bible study, you are taking steps of faith to follow your Lord. That, friends, is awesome, and powerfully captures what it means to follow Christ each and every day.
So, thank you for your warm welcome, for your commitment to Christ, and for your willingness to respond to Christ's calling to follow Him. Seeing your faithfulness in action has been an encouragement to me in the frustrating COVID moments!
Grace and Peace,