Worth celebrating

2 Peter 1:16-21

Yesterday, my church celebrated it’s 150th anniversary. We marked Kelsey’s sesquicentennial with a week’s worth of special worship gatherings, community outreach efforts and good fellowship. After having had this weekend in my mind for about four years, it was a blessing to finally share such a special time. In all, we laughed, cried, served, ate, played, prayed and we praised God. 

As the church, we look back for a lot of reasons. Remembering people who have loved and raised us is important. If we don’t, we may believe the lie we have built our life with help from no one. People deserve to be remembered, too. So, we share their stories and find new inspiration from them. Also, from time to time, a bit of nostalgia is good. It may help your mood and be a positive influence on your mental health.

An important question comes to mind in all this. More than one, if we keep thinking. As we honor our heritage and look back, as the body of Christ, how do we maintain a healthy sense of tradition and mission? 

At the very least, we must keep two factors before us. The first is our life with God. How have we experienced God’s grace? And what difference has that grace made in who we are? Church has to be more than another social gathering. It’s the community of faith where God reigns and is always reshaping the hearts of those who call it home. How has and how does our tradition help us grow in grace? If it doesn’t, it isn’t healthy.

The second factor is God’s love for the world. As priests, our mission has to align with God’s love for all humanity. If it doesn’t, most times, it’s because we’re too focused on what we think we used to be–a weak sense of tradition. But, if it does, we will know we are being moved by the Holy Spirit. 

The movement from grace to mission is by God’s leading. And where God leads us is worth celebrating. 

Stay blessed…john

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John Fletcher

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