FromThePastor pic

Pastor’s Message

 

 

 

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.  And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”  Matthew 28:19-20

 

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,     

              Happy New Year!  Have you heard of the movement that is rapidly sweeping the nation?  It is called 1000 Hours Outside.  For more information on it, go to www.1000hoursoutside.com.  The basic premise is that spending more time outside leads to better mental and physical health, so you set the goal of spending 1000 hours outside this year.  With 365 days in a year, this comes out to about 2 hours and 45 minutes per day outside.  (This is obviously a little more of a challenge this time of year for us in Michigan than it is in the summer!) I think that healthier children is the primary target of this movement though it is encouraged for all ages.  The website has some helpful suggestions for different types of hikes and different activities to do during the different months of the year.  You farmers out there will probably laugh at this—many of you grew up spending countless hours outside picking raspberries or tomatoes or zucchini and cultivating row after row of the vegetables and other crops you grew.  The way that our lives have become today with many hours inside in front of screens and time reduced outside due to advancements in technology, investing some planning in being active outside and setting some goals for it is something for your family to consider this year.

            1000 hours outside isn’t just a good suggestion for healthy families.  It is a good one for healthy churches too.  On January 9th, Pastor Tom Fischer will be with us at Trinity Glendora and will share his passion for the church spending time outside (“Beyond the Walls” as he calls it).  What we do inside our walls is important as we gather together around God’s Word and Sacraments to be refreshed and to encourage one another in the faith.  However, it was never God’s intent that things would stop there.  He sends His Church back out into the world, beyond its walls, to share the Gospel and love our neighbors.  Just like it can be tempting to get lazy and sit in front of screens all the time expecting to be entertained by others, the Church is tempted by Satan to get lazy too.  We can become too focused on the things that entertain us or serve our needs.  You should expect to be served by coming to Church – we call it the Divine Service for a reason!  God serves us, and we need this!  I don’t want to minimize what happens inside our walls in any way.  It is very important – even essential!  Just remember that a healthy church then goes out beyond its walls in the strength of the Lord to be about the work He has for us to do!

            In going outside beyond the walls, we are following Jesus.  He did this first – hence the celebration of Christmas that we just enjoyed!  His going beyond the walls – “While we were yet sinners Christ died for us,” makes all the difference for us!  I would encourage all of you to attend the service on January 9th and also the workshop that Pastor Fischer is going to lead at our church on Saturday morning, January 29th from 9:00-12:00.  He will encourage us in furthering the Epiphany (making known / revealing) of our Lord beyond the walls of Trinity into southwest Michigan and beyond.  Let’s together go outside for 1000 hours this year sharing Christ and His love and trusting that He will keep the promise He made in the great Commission – to be with us always as we go!

In Christ,

Pastor Liebich