Pastor’s August Ponderings:

Luke 18:15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 

Starting the end of month we invite children to hear about Jesus and His love for them during our Children and Worship.  We pray they will grow in their knowledge of Jesus and grow in their love for him.  

However, Jesus turns the learning curve on its head.  He says, “anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”  In other words, children have much to teach adults about the kingdom of God and Jesus’ love.  Children are totally dependent on their caregivers.  In the same way, we are all totally dependent on our Caregiver.

Kris and I love spending time with our grandchildren.  They are growing in stature and personality every year.  Yet, they continue to be totally dependent on their parents to give them everything they need for life:  food, shelter, clothing etc.

Likewise, we are totally dependent on our Heavenly Father for everything we need for eternal life.  May we continue to humbly receive the lifegiving nourishment our Heavenly Father continues to give us.  Jesus says He is the Living Water and the Bread of Life!  We need Him and Him alone for eternal life! 

A Child of God,

Pastor Vern      

 

Pastor’s July Ponderings:

Ephesians 4:1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit— just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

We all long to belong!  That is because we were created as social beings.  When Adam was alone, “Genesis 2:18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”  Thus, the die was cast for humans to belong to each other and to God.  Sadly, sinned corrupted God’s good creation and we all have received a self-serving ego.  Nevertheless, sin did not destroy our longing to be whole again.  The good news is that God intervenes with His Spirit to make us one again.

This wholeness requires our cooperation with the Holy Spirit.  In other words, God helps us, but he demands that we do our part, that is why we are told to be “completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love…”   

So as we all long to belong, may we each do our part, so that, God helping us, we will live in love and unity.  Such unity will draw others to join us as we reflect the body of Christ in our broken and divided world!     

 In Unity!

Pastor Vern   

Pastor’s June Ponderings:

1 Peter 5:14 “Greet one another with a kiss of love. 

Peace to all of you who are in Christ.”

Peter was a very close friend of Jesus.  He walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus.  He was one of the three disciples who made up Jesus’ “inner circle” along with James and John.  In his first letter, he writes “one another” five times.  These “one another” texts reveal what it means to be a Christian in all ages.  So far, we have been told to love one another, live in harmony with one another, offer hospitality to one another and clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.

This month we are finally instructed to Greet one another with a kiss of love. Walther Gunther says, The kiss in the ancient world was both a friendly sign of greeting and an emotional token of farewell.”  I would liken the “kiss of love” to a hug in our contemporary culture.  A hug is more than a handshake, which both a professional or a casual form of mutual greeting.  A hug usually implies a friendship that is deeper than just an acquaintance.  

Obviously, two people need to be in close proximity in order to give on another a hug.  Recently, social distancing, because of Covid-19, has made hugging one another all but impossible.  During that time, I remembered how much I missed getting and giving hugs.  But then it came to me, in the crazy time in which we were living, refraining from hugging one another was actually an act of love toward the other.  And love is what is at the heart of Peter’s command.  So, the principle of showing love toward one another supersedes the practice of how that love is expressed during any given time.  Today, we no longer offer a kiss of love, but a warm embrace.   However, when Covid was at its peak, we refrained from touching one another to show our love to one another.

All said and done, these “one another” text have shown us how important it is to be connected to each other.  May the Holy Spirit continue to draw us together for our peace and God’s glory!

With a Warm Virtual Embrace,

Pastor Vern

Pastor’s May Ponderings:

1 Peter 5:5 “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, 

“God opposes the proud 

but shows favor to the humble.” o 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Peter was a very close friend of Jesus.  He walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus.  He was one of the three disciples who made up Jesus’ “inner circle” along with James and John.  In his first letter, he writes “one another” five times.  These “one another” texts reveal what it means to be a Christian in all ages.  So far, we have been told to love one another, live in harmony with one another, and offer hospitality to one another.

This month we are told to clothe yourselves with humility toward one another.  Clothes are coverings.  Christians ought to cover themselves with humility.  What does that look like?  Paul explains what that looks like in Philippians 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”  What does it look like to value others above yourself?  It is to take off your own shoes and put on the shoes of others and then act accordingly.  

We live in a “Me First” culture, where we fight for our rights.  Christians ought to be counter cultural where we put “Others First.”  Paul says, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: What is Jesus’ mindset?  He considers what we need, before His own needs.  He had every reason to fight for His right to live (he was truly righteous), instead He gave His life, so that we might live.  Just think of what this world would look like if everyone thought of others before themselves!  So, let’s try it on, clothe ourselves with humility toward one another!

 Humbly your brother in Christ,

Pastor Vern

Pastor’s April Ponderings:

1 Peter 4:7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Peter was a very close friend of Jesus.  He walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus.  He was one of the three disciples who made up Jesus’ “inner circle” along with James and John.  In his first letter, he writes “one another” five times.  These “one another” texts reveal what it means to be a Christian in all ages.  Over the coming months I will be pondering these verses in the Kibbie News Letter.

Over the past two years COVID-19 has been a worldwide pandemic.  People have practiced self-quarantine.  Hospitals and nursing homes have not allowed visitors.  Restaurants and schools were closed.  People around the world were encouraged to exercise “social distancing.”  We were and are in unprecedented times.  So how do we “offer hospitality to one another” when being kept from interacting with one another?

Peter says we each receive gifts to empower us to serve others without grumbling.  Instead of pausing our serving throughout this pandemic, may God continue to help us to find new and creative ways to serve each other!  I have been encouraged to see how Kibbie Church continues to be faithful in serving one another over the past year!   Let’s continue to think outside of the box for new ways in which we might show hospitality to one another!     

Thanks for your hospitality,

Pastor Vern

March ponderings:

1Peter 3:8  Finally , all of you, be like minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.  9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult.  On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

Peter was a very close friend of Jesus.  He walked with Jesus, talked with Jesus, and ate with Jesus.  He was one of the three disciples who made up Jesus’ “inner circle” along with James and John.  In his first letter, he writes “one another” five times.  These “one another” texts reveal what it means to be a Christian in all ages.  Over the coming months I will be pondering these verses in the Kibbie News Letters.  Why must we suffer for doing good?  Well, doing good requires a great amount of humility, which is to sacrifice our egos.  Peter addresses, “all of you” that means everyone!  To be like minded, sympathetic, compassionate, humble, and a blessing to those who hurt you, you have to set your ego aside.  To truly love one another, we have to put the interest of  others before our own.  In that, like Jesus, we suffer.  He who gave up his own life for the sake of others, is our perfect example.  Later verses 17 says, 17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil,  18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.”

May we “love one another” as Christ so loved us to bring us to God.

Loving You All,   Pastor Vern