I’m back! It has been an excellent renewal leave for me to reflect on what God has in store for the future. The time away included a good mix of relaxation, study, prayer, and reflection. I am so grateful to our great staff and so many of you in the congregation who have served faithfully in my absence.
During my leave, I learned about a Christian approach to “internal family systems theory.” The gist of this theory is that because we are all made in the image of God, all parts of us, including the parts that cause us grief, have redeeming qualities that we can love. If you have ever said, “…part of me wants this, but another part of me wants that…”, then you know that we all sometimes have conflicting goals and desires. Rather than seeing some parts as negative and others as positive, what if we see our negative or “dark” sides as parts that obscure the image of God underneath?
Our dark sides that are prompted by fear, anxiety, and worry are just trying to protect us. But they can do great damage when they block the power of God’s image that reminds us that we can be calm, confident, and courageous because the Holy Spirit lives within us. This is a simple but life-changing truth.
I am looking forward to sharing a message Sunday entitled “Freedom Within: Relationships, Not Rules.” The message is the beginning of a series I am doing during the month of July on Paul’s letter to the Galatians in the New Testament. This letter may have been the earliest book of our New Testament. It is filled with insights about the true meaning of Christian faith.
I encourage you to read all six chapters of Galatians and seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance in your devotional time. The scripture for Sunday is Psalm 123 and Galatians 1: 3-12.
Even as we celebrate Independence Day Sunday, it is important that we worship God first.
I look forward to seeing you in worship! Invite a friend!
– Pastor Steve Hart