As we move into the month of March, I am noticing how many people have received at least one if not both of their vaccine shots. Thank God that we can see signs of hope after such a crazy year. Many of you have been sources of encouragement to me over the past twelve months, and I thank God for you.
This week is the third Sunday of Lent, and we will be looking at 1 Corinthians 1: 18-25 and John 2: 13-22. I am working on a message entitled “What Makes Jesus Angry?”. The passage from John’s gospel is one of the few instances in scripture where we see Jesus angry. I think there is more meaning in the passage than a simple message about not using the church as a marketplace. Could it also be about how we advertise the body of Christ through our behavior? I appreciate your ongoing prayers for all of us who lead worship. We depend upon your prayers.
We will offer communion this Sunday by giving folks the option of coming forward at the in-person service to receive the elements from a communion server or to obtain prepackaged elements. If you are worshiping from home via livestream, remember to have your elements ready at home.
One of my colleagues this week reminded me that John Wesley had a list of questions for people in small groups to ask each other to maintain accountability. I will be sharing those questions as part of the message Sunday. One such question is, “When did I last speak to someone about my faith?” Even as a pastor, I miss many opportunities to tell people how much God has done for me. When the Holy Spirit prompts us to share, it is so important that we do so without hesitation.
Finally, I want to say thank you to our wonderful staff at Grace. I have served here almost six years, and I honestly believe that our current staff members constitute the best overall team that I have seen. People work well together and offer support for each other. Whether it is our music ministry, our children and youth ministries, our maintenance and cleaning team, our office and accounting staff and our wonderful preschool staff, we have some gifted people! Remember to find ways to thank our staff members when you see them!
May God richly bless each of you. It is my honor to serve as one of your pastors.
Pastor Steve Hart