“Jesus of Nazareth poses a question and a challenge two thousand years after his lifetime. The question is fairly simple: who exactly was he? This includes the questions, What did he think he was up to? What did he do and say, why was he killed, and did he rise from the dead? The challenge is likewise fairly simple: since he called people to follow him, and since people have been trying to do that ever since, what might ‘following him’ entail? How can we know if we are on the right track?” N.T. Wright, Simply Jesus, 1.
Friends at Briarwood,
This winter we’ll spend some time with those questions, and more importantly, with that Jesus, as we reflect on Living the Kingdom. We’ll look at some of the famous and puzzling teachings of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I hope and pray that through these scriptures God will work renewed and fresh faith in our lives and bring God’s strengthening love to our very center.
It is a great time for this church right now. We often have the tendency to look back, don’t we. To remember days gone by. When things were different, better!, we say. But one of the mysteries of life is that it keeps going on, and so does Christ’s church.
Our call as Christians is to keep our lives focuced not on the past or even the future – those are in God’s hands and we entrust them to God. Our call is live each day in trust of Jesus of Nazareth. His Kingdom is among us. And we’re invited to enjoy it.
Friends, we rejoice this month in the birth of a second baby for Alejandro and France (Daniel). We rejoice in another Danielle, our full-time Children and Youth Director, ministering among us and in this community is so many creative and impactful ways. We rejoice in the Christmas offering support for the Missional Learning Center at the Presbyterian College. We rejoice in Rob Pemberton taking up leadership of a third worship band for the 11:30 service. And we rejoice this month at the third anniversary of the 11:30 service: in the creative ways we see the love and joy of Christ reaching out there and the steadfast support this congregation has given for that service to be a successful ministry.
Brothers and sisters, I believe God has much to say to us this winter, and has much to do among and through us still. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Love of God and the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you always.