God’s grace be with you.
The book of the Acts of the Apostles tells the wonderful story of the post-Resurrection church in its witness to the risen Christ. Although it had its struggles, the early church persevered in getting the Word out about salvation through faith in Jesus the Christ and how his life, death, and resurrection fulfilled the promises found in the Hebrew scriptures. The church persevered by simply gathering for worship and fellowship, taking care of its peoples’ needs, and most importantly, telling the story from the beginning. What a wonderful, yet simple, plan of action that any congregation of any size (remember, Jesus started with 12) can implement as its statement of mission and life together.
At the heart of anything we do as God’s people is God’s Word. It is our lifeblood. It is our salvation. It is our road map. It is our comfort and our joy and our peace. It is our hope. It is God’s story intertwining with our own stories that breathes new life into our world. As it is all of these things and more, we are always being called by God through the Holy Spirit to read and meditate on this precious Word so that we do not forget where we have come from or where we are going. We have everything we need to know about life and living right in front of us in the Bible.
Are there complicated passages to be struggled with? Yes. Are there certain facts or pieces of information that just seem out of place or contradictory? Yes. Is there a lot of material that is covered from Genesis to Revelation and how can we be expected to know it all? Yes. Every one of God’s disciples who have been devoted to the study and meditation of God’s Word will share that there are usually more questions than answers. They will share that sometimes just trusting in the power and the glory and the love of the mystery placed before them is okay. But they will also share how it is that the Bible has changed them and molded them into something much more and much better than they could have ever imagined for themselves.
God’s Word is transformative…it changes us. And anyone willing to enter into this journey of faith on the pages of scripture, and take the opportunities to “go deeper” than the ink on the page, will find themselves “a new creation.” And not only that, but as more and more of God’s people enter into the struggle of exploring the depths of God’s Word, they/we will find our local congregations to be “a new creation.”
Moving forward as Easter people over the next couple of months, I encourage you as your pastor to pick up God’s Word and read through the Book of Acts. Read at your own pace, but also take time to reflect, to allow God’s Holy Spirit to open new revelations about what He accomplished in the early church and what He may be accomplishing in and through us today. Be ready to be challenged as Peter and Paul were challenged. Be ready to accept the changes in your spiritual and personal life as God captures the attention of your heart and mind. And be ready to act upon the call of God to gather for worship and fellowship, to care for the needs of others, and to tell the old, old story of Jesus and His love.
Peace in Christ,
PASTOR STEINER AWAY ON VACATION
Pastor and Gwen will be away May 1-8 to visit Daniel and Kirsten in California. While he is away, Pastor Blair Morgan will lead our worship services on Sunday, May 5th. Please be present to welcome him and hear the Good News in his wonderfully energetic style. Pastor Clifton Suehr will be covering for Pastor Steiner in emergencies (724-863-7350 or 724-861-6765). Wednesday evening services will be held as usual. For any other church business during this time, please contact LaVerne mochnick or Wayne Barton.
From Pastor Steiner: Thank you to everyone from both Penn-Zion’s and Brush Creek for your prayers, cards, and words of comfort and sympathy during the recent time of my mother’s death. It is indeed a blessing to have you all as our family of faith, knowing that there is genuine love and care for one another in our congregations. May God continue to bless us all in the fellowship of love that has been established among us.
COME WORSHIP WITH US
HAVE A BLESSED HOLIDAY SEASON !!