4 week commitment

Dear friends,

As inflation concerns grow in the US, anxious economists are beginning to talk about its impact on the upcoming Christmas season. We’re a consumer society, after all, and a big driver of our economy is how much you consume/spend/buy this time of year. More spending = larger profits = stronger economy. It’s pretty simple.

But the Gospel adds an important twist — that our primary role as a Christian isn’t to be a consumer, but a contributor. We don’t watch on the sidelines; we engage. We give. We encourage each other. We make sacrifices for the sake of our neighbor. We do life together.

I’m not suggesting that you shouldn’t buy Christmas gifts this year! My mom taught me the joy of giving early on, so I know there’s great ministry that can be tied to the way we share gifts with each other.

What we should remember, however, is that the health of our personal economies (our lives and relationships) isn’t rooted in being a consumer, but a contributor.

What might that look like as we step into a new year? What goals come to mind as you imagine a post-Covid world?

For many of you, worshipping at home has been an enormous blessing during Covid. We’re so glad to have been able to produce a service that takes seriously our live and online community. That will continue, no doubt, especially as our online presence grows.

Having said that — and I’m simply repeating what you’ve told me — it’s hard to serve from the sofa. It’s hard to experience community from your living room. It’s hard to experience the full power of a worship gathering through the lens of a digital device.

With that in mind, I’d like to offer a challenge — or let’s call it an opportunity! For those who are ready to re-engage with in-person worship, use the 4 weeks of January as a starting point. Commit to worshipping each week. Not just once, but each week of January. For many, it’s a matter of returning to a discipline that was important to you pre-Covid. For those who are ready to establish a new routine altogether, it’s a great way to get started.

4 Sundays in January. It’s a great way to begin the new year, don’t you think?

Blessings to you this Christmas season. It’s such a special time of year … and you are such a special child of God. I’m so thankful to be working in the Garden with you.

+Pastor Rhodes


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