From the Pastor's Desk

Newsletter Article Oct. 2019

You know what I’m excited about this month, other than the return of pumpkin spice lattes?  Our second Halloween Roast on Oct. 31st!  Last year was crazy.  We handed out 191 hot dogs, had bonfires in the parking lot, gave multiple hayrides around town, played carnival games until the candy bowls were empty, and handed out door prizes from all kinds of local businesses!  And this year, we get to do it again!  

But when we look at events like this, we need to evaluate and ask: Why?  Why do this?  Does this mean that our church has compromised to the point that we celebrate Halloween?  Is it ok to make a fire or two in the parking lot?  Couldn’t this time and energy be better spent somewhere else?  How does giving someone a cup of hot chocolate further the Kingdom of God?  

Someone who really encourages me is the tax collector Levi.  In Luke 5, Jesus walks up to the tax office and tells Levi to “Follow me.”  Levi immediately gets up to follow Jesus.  In the next sentence, we see that Levi is hosting a huge banquet for Jesus at his house, and that a large crowd of other tax collectors and others join them.  

Levi accepts the invitation of Jesus, and his immediate reaction is to have a party.  Who does he invite?  More tax collectors, like himself.  Levi invited people like him - people who were hated, despised by their fellow Jews, who were probably cheaters and swindlers.  The tax collectors didn’t have a good reputation (See Zacchaeus), and were the kind of people that a guy like Jesus shouldn’t hang around with.  

Here is what stands out to me: Levi came from a social class of not the best people.  And then he decided to follow Jesus.  He was excited to follow Jesus, and he wanted to introduce others to Jesus.  So what does he do?  He creates an environment where Jesus and His disciples can rub shoulders with those who don’t know Jesus yet.  At this fun party, guards were lowered, friendships could form, lives could be impacted.  In essence, Levi had the first Halloweenie Roast (minus th hot dogs).  

Maybe, just maybe, one of the ways we can introduce people to Christ and His followers is to have a party.  Maybe we can create a fun environment where guards are lowered, where friendships can form, where lives can be impacted.  Maybe we can host an event where people from all walks of life, social status, age group, and background can be loved and hear about the gospel of Jesus.  And when I say maybe, I mean that we can - we successfully did last year, and we will do it again this month!  

There will be many opportunities for you to serve, donate, provide for, work, etc.  In the mean time, would you pray?  Would you pray that we could follow Levi’s example of inviting everyone and introducing them to Jesus?  Would you pray that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel?  (Eph. 6:19)  I’m excited to present the gospel again, and we can pray that God’s spirit will have been softening hearts through conversations throughout the evening.  

Wouldn’t it be neat to change a few lives over the course of an evening, one consisting of hayrides and hot cider?  Someone’s entire life will be changed because of your faithful prayers.  Thank you in advance! #LifeStartsHere

- Eric

Eric Linville,
Sep 11, 2019, 1:18 PM