Dear Friends in Christ,                                                                      July 1, 2010

In the month July, in the season of Ordinary Time, we also celebrate the birthday of our nation.  It is amazing that the foundation upon which this country was built is that of the Jewish/Christian values of faith in God.  In the early years of the republic the country viewed itself as the ‘New Jerusalem’.  It was closely tied to the belief that they were truly bringing in The Kingdom with the establishment of America.  Over the past several decades there has been a movement within our culture to remove God from the culture.  We have seen prayer taken out of the public education system, and the Ten Commandments taken out of the courtrooms.  We have even seen “In God we trust” taken off of the face of the dollar coin and stamped on the edge so as not be so obvious.

The call to us as Christians in this congregation and in our country today is the same.  We are called to trust in God, and declare the Good News, to help bring people to God.  It is in our DNA, and our identity as the people of God.  We are called to the work of God and to help with the work of the harvest as we continue in Ordinary time.  Just like the theme that Elder Zoey Bottoms helped us to focus on with our float in the Chisholm Trail Parade – “Come follow me,  Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men.”

So we are called in the heat of the harvest, in the heat of the summer, to remember that we are called to be God’s people to share Christ’s Good News with all those we meet.  Our lives should be a living sermon of “who” we are and “whose” we are in our every day tasks and work.  It is said well in the hymn “They’ll know we are Christian by our love”.  We will be known, and are known, by our actions, in the way we interact with the people around us. 

As a people and as a country we still are called to trust in God, and to do His work as His people.  It is even in the second verse of our national anthem written in poetic verse in1814: 

 

O! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand

Between their loved home and the war's desolation!

Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land

Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,

And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."

And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave

O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

 

           So, in this season of growth, let us also turn to the work and the call of God in our growing.  As the Church and the country let us put our trust in God, and let us live into the example of the Christ we follow, and continue the work of the harvest begun.  Even as ordinary people, we serve an extraordinary God, and we are helping to bringing in His Kingdom.

 

           Yours-In-Christ,  Jim