Thoughts from the Pastor

Being Mindful of our Thankfulness

“We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”                (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3)

Paul always began and ended his letters to the various congregations with a word of thanksgiving. Paul made sure to thank God regularly, but he also expressed his thankfulness for each congregation and the blessings they provided. Even though he would often go on to challenge or critique a congregation in his letter, even though he often wrote his letters from prison, he always began and ended with thanksgiving. There is power in keeping our thankfulness at the forefront of our minds.

     This month I find myself reflecting on four years of ministry with you the Linville Creek Church of the Brethren. I began my ministry here in a time of major transition. I had just graduated Seminary, this was my first Senior Pastoral position, and Asher was born just six days before I officially began work as Pastor. Like the Apostle Paul I want to be sure to make my ongoing thankfulness known. I am thankful to God and to this congregation for the continued blessings and support. This is a place of welcome, joy, and love and for that I am grateful.

     It is appropriate during this season of Thanksgiving to take time to reflect and appreciate the many ways this church family has continued to grow and change. We are not a perfect community of faith, no community is, and yet there is much joy, grace, and love to be found here. It is my prayer that you have experienced that blessing for yourself, and it is my prayer that you make your thankfulness known and that you keep your thankfulness at the forefront of your mind.

     As we move towards Thanksgiving trust that the God who has been faithful to this congregation is still present seeking to guide us forward. Therefore, be vocal about your thankfulness, to others in this congregation and to strangers you meet. For a thankful heart is slow to anger and slow to hate. A thankful heart makes others feel welcome and appreciated. A thankful heart perceives the glory of God all around. As that familiar song says, “give thanks with a grateful heart!”        ~ Pastor Nathan