Pastor's Message


My dearest brothers and sisters in Christ,

Oh, what a year this has been so far! Just think about what we have seen and heard and experienced in the past few months!

We have witnessed a lot of the drama and "discussion" that typically happens in years when elections are occurring or in the offing.

We have also watched, and in fact are still watching the development of the COVID 19 pandemic with all of the drama and confusion that comes with that, alond with the economic and social "fallout" caused by the disease itself as well as the measures that are being taken to combat it. Who would have thought even last year that "social distancing" and "distance learning" would become a part of our vocabulary and daily practice?

And then there has been all of the protesting, and violence, and destruction that have followed the deaths of some Americans at the hands of others.

The wonders of modern technology, the internet and mobile devices that allow us instant access to the internet from just about anywhere we go, means that we have access to more information and more opportunities for interaction with others than ever before. One curious aspect of our rapidly advancing technology is that our ability to invent technology often outpaces our ability to manage the technology that we have devised.

Through modern technology, people have discovered that they can reach a much larger audience than ever before.People can now tell others how they feel over the internet without the risks posed by actual face to face confrontations where rude behavior could have immediate and painful consequences. Many "keyboard commandos" have taken to the internet in search of trouble and seem to take delight from entering into arguments are causing controversy. Sadly, "Cyber Bullying" (attacking others over the internet or via text messaging) is another new term that is now in common usage. We have become a confrontational and argumentative society.

Our world has enough troubles as it is, without our wading into arguments with others or getting into quarrels over the internet. We don't have to take part in every argument that presents itself. Scripture tells us that "People who watch their mouths guard their lives, but people who open their lips are ruined."(Proverbs 13:3) Scripture, in Proverbs 18:2, also tells us that "Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but only in epressing their own opinion." In what I have seen so far, arguments via the internet have changed very few hearts, and only served to drive people deeper into the positions that they already have. It is far better to stay away from arguments than it is to pour fuel on the fire by joining into them.

In his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells those that follow him: "You have heard that it was said, 'You must love your neighbor and hate your enemy'. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who harass you so that you will be acting as children of your Father who is in heaven. He makes the sun rise on both the evil and the good and sends rain on both the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love only only those who love you, what reward do you have? Don't even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing? Don't even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore, just as your heavenly Father is complete in showing love to everyone, so also you must be complete." (Matthew 5: 43-48)

We draw much closer to being "complete", to being all that our God wants for us to be, when we treat our neighbors, even and especially those with whom we disagree, with the same sort of care and compassion that our Lord has lavished on us. Let the words that you direct towards others, be of the same type and tone that you want to hear directed towards yourself. In all that you do, in all that you say, in person, or on the internet, seek to be kind. Let your voice and your presence be an island of calm and loving kindness in the midst of the rolling seas of controversy that surround us.


Pastor Rick