Thoughts from the Pastor

            “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.  Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.” Colossians 3: 12-14

     I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what makes for a healthy Church community recently.  I found myself drawn towards the Colossians passage above because it gives us a wonderfully simple reminder of how we are to live together in Christian community.  As a community of faith, we must have a heartfelt sympathy for the situations and needs of others through compassion and kindness.  As a community of faith, we must have a proper sense of self-worth (humility), recognizing our own worth but not counting ourselves better than others.  As a community of faith, we are to be gentle in the way we treat and speak about one another.  As a community of faith, we must strive for patience, avoiding becoming frustrated and enraged but allowing room for other’s shortcomings and weaknesses.  As a community of faith, we are called to forgive one another and to treat each other with love.

And yet, these simple instructions can be so difficult to live out.  We live in a society that promotes individuality, promotes a strong personality, and has little time for patience. Community cannot survive in such an environment.  Linville Creek will continue to flourish if we constantly striving to live with the virtues described in Colossians.  Living in Christian community does not mean we will be void of conflict and disagreements, but it does mean we will not let those differences become a poison that destroys the body.  I continue to be inspired by the generous and welcoming spirit present at Linville Creek.  Let us continue to be a community of compassion, of kindness, of humility, of gentleness, of patience, of forgiveness, and most importantly, of love.

                        ~ Pastor Nathan

Living as Community