“Come as you are”

We want you to feel at home with us. Casual or dressy? We want you to be comfortable, whether it be heels or tennis shoes, suit or t-shirt. We’re just glad to see you.

Matthew 18:20

“For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”

A Message for August from Pastor Mike

Stay-cation

She was excited beyond reason, with her pony-tailed boot black hair bouncing in joy. It was going to be a Christmas to top all others, renting a cabin at 9000 ft., skiing, and even a little dog sledding. Turns out, Breckinridge Colorado actually does live up to it’s name and reputation.

But being a flat-lander from Florida, who’s body chemistry had never been exposed to anything ‘high’ except for heat and humidity, it didn’t take long for the cramped contorted car ride back to the airport to set things in motion.

By the time she snake-swerved a couple miles through security, only to progress forward a handful of feet, Shelly collapsed at the trash receptacle on the side. That vacation held so much promise of bonding and fun for her, and on the whole it stepped up to the plate and made full contact with every expectation thrown it’s way. And still to this day, it brings up a mixture of feelings in her.

Our scriptures are quite silent on the perils and pro’s of vacations. The closest thing that comes to mind happened when Jesus and his disciples went, “…away to a deserted place all by [them]selves [to] rest a while.” That lasted a whopping heartbeat and a half, until their momentary spring break was crashed by a battalion of curious needs that wouldn’t leave them alone.

Over the score and seven years that I’ve been on this planet, I have come to theorize that there are exactly four kinds of vacations: 1) restful and relaxing; 2) not so restful due to sight seeing or responsibilities, but nevertheless fun; 3) exhausting because the hotel messed up our reservation and Jane got food poisoning; and 4) I’m planning to become a hoarder when I get home so that I never have to experience the horror of the outside world ever again.

When we vacate the premises of work and routine, we tend to measure their outcome on the stick of hopes and expectations that we’ve whittled prior. And the same is true of our life together with Jesus.

Putting aside all the shoulds and coulds that we want to say and see, let’s be honest – it’s sometimes fun and amazing, and other times downright difficult and awful following Jesus. The problem with measuring Jesus by our standards is he will inevitably be seen to come up short many times. He doesn’t play by our rules, because true love envelops the person as they are, and not for whom we hope they will be.

Unlike a vacation, where the general intent is to rest by getting away and doing something different and enjoyable, the deepest kind of reprieve is never found in a another physical spot. Jesus knows and respects and wants us to rest. And while we do, he invites us to go deeper by letting go of who we think he should and could be, and allowing him to tell us exactly who he is. And we’ll discover that resting in him doesn’t have to look like getting away, most of the time it feels like coming home.

Pastor Mike