February Newsletter

Dear Friends,

In this column this year, we are going to focus on what it means to be a member of, or attached to, a church. Last month, we looked at the fact that as God has given to us, so we are to share this with the Church.

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The Book of Order, which defines our day to day activities as a Presbyterian congregation, states that another aspect of being a faithful member means, “demonstrating a new quality of life within and through the church.” This aspect is the most appealing and soul winning aspect and yet is one of the hardest to achieve.

When the world sees that we have learned to love one another, that we take it seriously about the command to love as Christ has loved us, it has great appeal. In a society that is at odds with one another, where anger and discord have become the norm, how refreshing it is when someone sees that people care deeply for one another in the church. By the way, this is our call from Christ and from Scripture, that we do love another more than self.

The reason this is the hardest to achieve is that we need to die to self in order for this to happen. Self in and of itself refuses for this to happen and resists our spiritual desire to be like Christ. This is a daily decision, sometimes an hourly decision to put aside our pride and our desire and to be like Christ. When we make that daily/hourly decision to embrace Christ, then we can push our flesh out of the way in order for the spirit to rule in us.

The best place for us to practice this, obviously, is the Church. Here we speak the same spiritual language and have the same spiritual goal, being like Christ. If we try to do this on our own, then we do not have the challenge of working with others who are on a different spiritual level than us. The end result is that we do not grow as effectively nor as rapidly as when we practice the gift of love here, in the Church.

As the faithful ones, as members and attenders of the Church, when we live out the love of Christ, we show others that we are truly grounded in grace, that we live in love, and are growing for God.

In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Mark