Passionately Demonstrating the Love of Jesus

Crosswalk Blog

Contentment, Courage, Costumes, Christmas, and Clouds

oday I want to share a bevy of “C’s” with you.

Contentment and Courage

We live in a world that is overflowing with acronyms. IMNSHO (In My Not So Humble Opinion) this trend can create a lot of mix-ups. DGMW (Don’t Get Me Wrong), sometimes the plethora of acronyms leave me LOL (Laughing out Loud). Don’t even get me started with emoticons! Here’s a new and hip acronym becoming popular in managerial circles: VUCA.

Heard of it? Care to venture a guess as to its meaning? It stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity. Apparently, the U.S. Army War College first introduced these letters to describe the new era of confusion after the Cold War ended. VUCA is an attempt to describe the vicissitudes of life that can barge into individuals, families, companies, and churches. Or as an article in the Harvard Business Review put it, VUCA is a catchall phrase for “Hey, it’s crazy out there!”

That is a perfect description of the current election season, the rapid cultural changes that seem to surround us like a never ending whirlwind, and the pressure that so many face in the changing circumstances of their lives. Here’s how John’s Gospel alone describes our world: darkness, ignorance of spiritual truths, sinful, loved by God, a place where light enters, a place of life, a place where salvation can be found, where the Holy Spirit is not welcomed, a place ruled by Satan, a place of hatred, a place where trouble is prevalent, that which Jesus has victory over, a place where Jesus has been sent so that people might believe, a place where most do not know the Father, a place distinct from God’s kingdom.

Yet in the face of VUCA, the Lord Jesus does promise us that all the volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity will never have the final say. Jesus promises us his peace, the certainty that our faith overcomes the world, that the simplicity of child-like faith rules the complexity and ambiguity of our cultural realities.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.     – John 14:27 (NLT)

In other words, followers of Jesus embrace contentment and courage when facing life’s ups and downs. HTH (Hope this Helps).

Costumes

In our attempt to leverage the Halloween holiday for the joy of the Lord, this year we are trying something new.

This Friday night is our Costume Ball! In the column below there is a description of all you can expect on this special evening. I will be there in costume. I’m still debating whether I should go as Gandalf the Grey or the Handsome Prince. Uh, it just dawned on me that circumstances have made that choice for me. Hope to see you there!

Christmas

Every several years, due to the fluctuations of the Gregorian calendar we use, Christmas falls on a Sunday. The last time was in 2011, the next time will be in 2022. After much discussion with our staff, Church Council, and various Crosswalkers, we have decided to do something very different for us. That weekend we will have our weekend services on Saturday, Christmas Eve, and not have any services on Sunday. Many evangelical churches are making this choice because it gives us an opportunity to leverage the popular Christmas Eve Candlelight service and at the same time blesses our team of volunteers with holiday time off to spend with families. Our volunteer teams get stretched when asked to serve both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, especially when family is visiting. So we will offer two Candlelight Christmas Eve services and decentralize our church on Christmas Day to allow for quality family time.
Please consider this a strategic opportunity to invite friends and family members to one of our Candlelight Christmas Eve services. They will each last one hour, and consist of beloved Christmas songs and an evangelistic Christmas devotional message. We will have our campus decorated and well lit. Service times will probably be 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. We will confirm these times soon. Please plan on making this a Christmas that will impact people for eternity!

Clouds

Clouds hide the sun. They bring darkness. Our Scripture for this Sunday is the amazing story of when Jesus announced he was the light of the world! Then he gave us this remarkable promise: Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. We will explore the promise of Jesus that we will have the light of life! There is also a very somber and grim reality our Lord acknowledges in this passage. He speaks of dying in our sins. Jesus doesn’t want anyone to die in their sins. Today we will deal with the darkness of death in our sins and the light of the Lord’s joy for us. You won’t want to miss this day. Also, this Sunday we will celebrate the ordination of our own Petra van de Water, who has been pursuing God’s call on her life with the ministry of hospital chaplaincy. It is a joy when we discover God’s call and pursue it! This Sunday, we will chase away the clouds of sin and shame and uncertainty, and dance in the light of God’s presence!

Next time I write I will be sharing with you some of the things we are looking forward to in 2017. It will involve the NEXT STEP in the Lord’s plan for Crosswalk! Please keep our church in your prayers! We yearn for God’s direction and blessing.

Love in Jesus,

Pastor John