Pastor’s Message for June

  We have experienced a number of firsts this year so far.  Our first church building, our first church service in the new building, our first youth group event, our first facility operator, and even our first water leak in the new building! (Ok, well not every first has been great.)  Firsts can be exciting, firsts can be stressful, firsts can be scary, and firsts can sometimes be forgotten.

Do you remember all of your firsts?  Probably not.  There are some firsts that don’t mean a whole lot, and there are some firsts that we would rather forget.  Yet there is a first that Jesus tells us to never forget; to never lose zeal for.  He tells us in Revelation 2:4-5,

 

                        “But I have this complaint against you.  You don’t love me or each

                        other as you did at first!  Look how far you have fallen from your first

                        love!  Turn back to me again and work as you did at first.”

 

Jesus writes this to the church in Ephesus who started out so well; working hard to promote Christ, patiently enduring suffering for Jesus, and even standing against the toleration of evil.  This sounds like a great church!  So, why would Jesus tell them that they have lost their first love?  What’s with that? 

Well, it seems, as we so often do, that the church in Ephesus began to be more concerned and enamored with the legalities and traditions of “doing” church than they did with the One who founded the church – Jesus.  Their heart was turned from a relationship with Jesus to a relationship about Jesus.  The focus was taken off walking with Jesus and onto the administration and running and “protecting” of the church.  Rules, bylaws, committees, traditions, histories, and past glories all became more important than the presence of Jesus for the present day.  Unfortunately, the church began to look more like the group of pharisees who opposed Jesus than it did the disciples who followed Jesus. 

We are not that church, nor do we ever want to become that church.  We never want to hear Jesus tell us that we are in danger of losing His presence from among us because we have stopped seeking Him and working for Him with all of our hearts – with all of our love.  Let us keep Jesus as the center of our church.  Let us not love what we have, or even had, more than who Jesus is for us now and what He is calling us to do today and in the days to come. 

We have been experiencing a lot of firsts this year and will continue to experience even more.  So, let us make sure that the center of it all and the prime motivator of it all is a love for Jesus and for each other.  Let us make sure to love as we first did when we met Jesus and began this journey with Him together.

Sincerely His,
 
Pastor Michael