The Savior's Toolbox!
Read the May- June 2016 Newsletter
“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
“You Are Needed!”
Someone has imagined the Carpenter’s tools holding a conference. Brother Hammer presided. Several suggested he leave the meeting, because he was too noisy. Replied the Hammer, “If I have to leave this shop, Brother Screw must go also. You have to turn him around again and again to get him to accomplish anything.”
Brother Screw then spoke up. “If you wish, I’ll leave. But brother Plane must leave too. All his work is on the surface. His efforts have no depth.”
To this Brother Plane responded, “Brother Rule will also have to withdraw, for he is measuring folks as though he is the only one who is right.”
Brother Rule then complained against Brother Sandpaper: “You ought to leave too because you’re so rough and always rubbing people the wrong way.”
In the midst of all this discussion, in walked the Carpenter of Nazareth. He had arrived to start His day’s work. Putting on His apron, He went to the bench to make a pulpit from which to proclaim the Gospel. He employed the hammer, screw, plane, rule, sandpaper, and all the other tools. After a day’s work when the pulpit was finished, Brother Saw arose and remarked: “Brethren, I observe that all of us are workers together with the Lord.”
God is a god of variety. In nature, what a diversity of animals! Every snowflake is different, every fingerprint, every face. Likewise, God is a God of variety in His church. What a diversity of gifts He has bestowed on believers to equip them for service!
Anonymous (For All the Saints, Vol. III, pp. 958-959)
Reading the above story feels like a call to confession – remembering times we may have acted as if we are the only ones who are right or times we may have rubbed people the wrong way. And yet, the Lord freely forgives us and uses us, warts and all, in service of His kingdom. Looking at it in this way may encourage us in our faith journey together, helping us to be graceful to one another.
On the first Sunday in June, we will hold our annual meeting. We will review the past year and look forward to a new year in mission and ministry here in downtown Harrisburg. We will give thanks for the many ways in which members and friends have shared their time, talent and treasure with the congregation. I invite us all to prayerfully consider ways in which we may all share the unique gifts with which we have been blessed in Christ’s service together here at Zion. As the title of the story says, “You are needed!”
In Christ’s Service,
19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” - Matthew 6:19-21
The heavenly treasure does not lie in the moral character we form within our present personality through stern discipline of will and emotion … Such righteousness will be shown as “filthy rags” on the day of crisis. To lay up heavenly riches means to come now to Jesus in personal trust and love. This friendship will abide forever.
- Many Things in Parables by Ronald S. Wallace
When you think about it, in times of crisis, we reach out to friends (this includes family) - people with whom we have a trusting relationship. We look to them for help, especially when we are overwhelmed and realize that we cannot fix things by ourselves.
At the root of our struggles in life is our sinful condition, a situation we cannot “fix.” We continue to hurt God and others by things we have thought or done or left undone. We need help! Through His life, death, and resurrection, our Lord Jesus offers us forgiveness. Through the Holy Spirit, we are strengthened in our lives of Christian discipleship. Our Christian service at Zion, in our communities, and in our families flows out of gratitude for the new life we have received through God’s Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.
The building of a trusting relationship involves spending time together. This fall, there are a number of opportunities to learn and grow in our relationship with our Lord, including: worship services on Sundays and Wednesdays; Sunday School classes; Tuesday Bible/Book study; fellowship events with our brothers and sisters in Christ, and; the use of devotional reading materials available at Zion.
We are also actively planning for a Confirmation Program which will begin on Reformation Sunday, October 25, and last for one year. While there will be “discipline” regarding attendance and assignments, it is truly my hope that God will guide us to nurture the gift of life-long friendship with Jesus for each of the youth participants.
May God strengthen our trusting and loving relationship with Jesus individually, as a the congregation of Zion, and in Christian community with all in our building: Good Shepherd Anglican Church, New Hope Community, Survivors in Jesus Christ Church, and Sara & TJ Hunt-Felke.
In the peace of Christ,
Read the September- November 2015 Newsletter
Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
1 Corinthians 12:4-6