We the People of God!

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Walking the grounds of Lutherhaven last week I was surrounded by beautiful ponderosa and larch. As I considered all the pine needles blanketing the forest floor, I sensed God say, “One needle is not a pine tree… in fact hundreds of needles are not a pine tree unless they are attached to the tree. And the tree is only a forest if it remains in the company of other trees.” And then I was led to the passage from 1 Peter 2:9:

You are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation,

a people of Gods own possession

At times I wonder if we are losing our identity. The work of God accomplished by Jesus Christ was not that we could all be independent agents (a pine needle, or a solitary tree) but to bring us together as a people of God’s own possession, a forest of faith in the company of believers. ’We’ is not me without you and all others who are the sons and daughters of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. To think that ‘me’ can be ‘we’ is misguided at best and downright dangerous at worst. The pine needles separated from the tree and blanketing the ground are no longer green, no longer living.

As Christians who live in the US, we at times misplace our allegiance, we take a bit too much pride in our definitions of patriotism and partisanship – and then carelessly fashion God into our image, draping Jesus in stars and stripes. We are in danger of forgetting Jesus’ body draped on a cross, bleeding, dying and rising again – not so we can be Americans but so we will become a people of Gods own possession. Long before it became the preamble of our constitution, “We the people…” was God’s intention for us even while we were sinners and enemies of God. He intended us to belong to Him, to be His people, His kingdom, His banner waving over us.

May we remember we are citizens of heaven and it is from there we are awaiting Jesus’ return. As we enter into this hyped-up political season, may we remain grounded in the kingdom of God and His righteousness. May we remember that we have been bought and paid for by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and filled with Holy Spirit to be “we the people of God.” May our allegiance always be pledged to Jesus, His will, His work, and His ways for the sake of those who do not yet know Him.  What a glorious work we are, called to be loved, belong, become, and bless!

September Messages                                                                Pastor Jon

SEP 6              We are the God-Kind

SEP 13            The Force of Forgiveness                                       

SEP 20            Juvenile Justice Outreach

SEP 27            Be Strong in the Lord