Tom’s Midweek Greeting
Crossroads Community Church
April 27, 2020
Dear Crossroads Family,
I hope you were able to enjoy the weekend – both the beautiful weather, and also the opportunities we had to worship the Lord and to grow in Him! We have so many faithful servants in the church who are keeping life going during this unusual shelter-in-place period of time. I’m thankful for each one of you!
Thank you, too, for your faithful financial support of the church. Right now the best way to give financially to the church is still by way of the Post Office. P.O. Box 23 is the Crossroads address in Nevada. Several of you are doing that – thank you!
I was challenged this weekend to re-visit the question, “What is the mission of the church?” What is the mission of the Church all around the world … and what is the specific mission of Crossroads Church in Nevada?
There are many pieces to the mission of a church, but it seems the over-arching mission of the church is still to make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Savior of the world and its coming King! When we consider the wonderful person of Jesus, it’s easy to be excited about making disciples!
I think Crossroads is a good disciple-making church, in part because we are a relational church. Some at Crossroads are involved in disciple-making in a more systematized way (small group Bible study, etc) ; others are involved in disciple-making more informally by sharing life together. Both are good, and both are needed. Prayer is also a part of discipleship, and we have some amazing pray-ers at Crossroads! Even our weekly habit of receiving the word preached from the Bible is a part of our discipleship process. As I’m studying in, and preaching from, the book of Galatians, I find it’s not always easy to communicate what is the relevance, to our lives in America today, of people in Turkey not receiving circumcision 1970 years ago! But it actually is relevant! And it’s a part of the process – our process of learning to be stronger, happier, more prosperous followers of the Lord Jesus whose lives attract others to Him!
It may seem for a time that we’re kind of marking time. (We’re not really. A lot of good ministry is happening as you reach out to each other and beyond!) When the stay-at-home orders are over, we’ll need to remember that we are to be a church on mission! … on mission to young people, on mission to older people, on mission to our community, and on mission to other places in the world. One of God’s great purposes is expressed in Ephesians 3:10 – “… that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” In other words, as people from every tribe, language, age, and background are united in Christ, evidence is given (even to angels and to the devil!) of the power of God in our lives through Christ!
How will we be a church on mission … this week and in the coming months after the pandemic is over?
Our Stay-at-Home Routine: For the time being, we will continue to meet via Facebook and other means. When we receive word of the YMCA re-opening, we’ll be sure to let you know! Keep in mind that when we return to the Y, there may be some new expectations for us concerning hygiene, keeping the Y clean, and social distancing to the extent that we’re able. Thanks for your understanding and for your help!
Monday Night Bible Study: We’ll have another great study in the Old Testament book of Numbers tonight at 7:00, live on the Crossroads Facebook page. Numbers is not just a bunch of old stories but, as Paul writes in the New Testament, events that occurred for our instruction and help! Tonight, we’ll receive some important warnings and helps that can change our lives!
Saturday Night Worship: Many of you are connecting with Jessica Baker on Saturday evenings at 7:00 for some worship music. Thank you, Jessica, for making that available to us on Facebook!
Sunday Morning Message: We’ll pre-record the Sunday sermon again this week. It should be available on the Crossroads Facebook page by Saturday evening. I keep each one of you in mind as I preach! I can imagine your faces and your thoughts as I preach. I’m so used to watching you on Sunday mornings – your eyes, your giggles. A pastor can also observe when the Holy Spirit is especially speaking to someone. I hope the Galatians series on “Freedom in Christ” is ministering to you as much as it is to me!
My life odometer clicks up one more number this week! It’s a fun and beautiful time of the year to have a birthday! I remember that, as a child, my parents sometimes took us on a fishing trip to Bennett Spring around the time of my birthday. We enjoyed the natural beauty of that park, even though we weren’t very good fishermen!
I was thinking of my dad the other day, as he died eight years ago at the end of April, and we laid him to rest on my 50th birthday. Dads are, by and large, underappreciated people, aren’t they? We miss them when they’re gone! They are a kind of backstop in life; and then, suddenly, we are ourselves thrust into the backstop role for others! My dad had a career with the University of Missouri extension division. He was a farmer at heart. He had a sincere faith in the Lord and was almost always in a positive frame of mind. (When he wasn’t, you could tell because the change was so unusual!) I remember once when he was asked to preach a sermon at the church we attended when I was young. He was a good speaker on many occasions during his life; he knew how to get in, say it, and get out … something I’m not always good at!
Over the years, it seems like I’ve picked up a circle of friends who share my birthday, or at least within a day or two. Most of these friends are younger friends, and I feel like those of us born at the end of April have some similar personality traits. I’m grateful for each one – at least two that come to mind live in France. I am being reminded this week to pray for them. Of course, I remember my Aunt Mamie H. who was a principal at one of the Springfield, Missouri, schools for many years and whose birthday I shared. And my good friends, Alex and Genelle G., who were married on the very same day I was born – April 28, 1962. Congratulations, Alex and Genelle, on 58 years together!
I have posted on my (new) Facebook page an essay written by my daughter Betsy called “Where I Am From.” It’s a beautiful summary of our family’s years spent in France and Belgium, and then the fifteen years spent in Hermann, Missouri. I hope you’ll read it. It explains a lot of the joys … and some of the hurts, too, that make up who we are as a family.
The stay-at-home orders are getting long, aren’t they? There’s a feeling of “I just want to move on!” May we nevertheless receive each day as coming from the Lord, no matter what it looks like and no matter what is there , or isn’t there, to do that day. He assigns us our portion, and we only have right here and right now for doing His will! There is joy in that, whatever it may be! “Serve the Lord with gladness” is a good reminder (Psalm 100:2).
I look forward to connecting with you in the book of Numbers tonight at 7 pm!