Pastor's Note | Saturday, December 13th
It has come so quickly that I need to catch up to the reality that Christmas is just a week and one-half away! It’s appropriate for us to celebrate the birth of Jesus, after all, this is the occasion of God giving us the most precious and needed gift of all - a redeemer, the Anointed One who came into this world to begin setting all the broken things to right.
Here’s how Eugene Petersen paraphrases the description of this found in the Gospel According to John, chapter 1:
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish (The Message version of the Bible).
I am struck by the imagery of God the Son, stripping off the glories of heaven and enrobing himself in the flesh and blood of a human child - God coming to us, Jesus - fully God and fully human. And I am struck by the thought of God’s generosity in giving God’s own Self - first in entering our world, later to put our sins to death, and ultimately to be raised, and raise us, to life that never ends.
Generosity. I see it reflected in the way you - the Good Shepherd congregation - have provided for on-going ministry. And it has made a significant difference in the lives of many.
Your generosity has made it possible for over 25,000 “worship hours” or persons in worship in terms of cumulative hours. That’s over three years of worship. That may seem odd to write about, but this represents a generous expression of gratitude and praise and glory and honor that is due to our God.
Your generosity has also provided for spiritual nurture. More than 150 kids attended VBS. Many were from families that had no church connection. Six of those families now participate in Good Shepherd’s worship and other opportunities.
Your generosity has enabled us to fund the building of the Kori School in the Rift Valley in Ethiopia - a predominantly Muslim region. The school is staffed by Christians who have earned the trust and respect of the local authorities, and who can present the gospel to the students and their families.
Your generosity has blessed countless hundreds, if not thousands, with meals, clothing, shelter, tutoring, mentoring, and opportunities to learn of the love of God through involvement with ministry partners in our local communities.
Your generosity has made it possible for us to move forward in a new denominational context that effectively supports our call to make disciples who connect with God, grow in faith, and serve in love.
Thank you for such generosity.
As we near the end of 2014 we are facing a budget deficit in the range of $100,000. Would you consider an additional year-end gift to help us end the year without a deficit? We will be much better able to continue to impact our community through the ministries of this church if we can erase this deficit.
Thank you again for your generosity through which lives are being touched - to the glory of God.