A Lifetime of Learning
by Pastor Jocelyn Carson | August 9, 2011
Dear Friends of Jesus,
I have always been a fan of lifelong learning! My faith today is not what it was when I was confirmed many years ago. My understanding of God’s grace at work in the world has grown and matured. When our daughter was a baby, a friend gave us a needlepoint picture of a little girl with these words, “Please be patient with me, God isn’t finished with me yet.” It was a good reminder for first time parents and over the years that saying continues to be true. God is not finished with any of us yet—we are still being invited to grow in grace and in faith!
In Ephesians, Saint Paul writes about the followers of Jesus growing up in this way, “But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly, promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love.” (Ephesians 4:15-16 NRSV) As a faith community and as individuals we grow in love and understanding, never standing still!
Some of our growing happens through “book-learning.” The most important book we are invited to know is the Bible. As we grow in faith, we need to read and consider more than the Bible stories of our childhood. As we are being built up in love, we are invited to ask difficult questions and challenge some of our child-like views of Holy Scripture. Reading Scripture alone can be growth producing, but even better is reading and talking with other growing Christians. When we study together, we hear the questions and answers from a variety of perspectives. Our response to someone else, “I never thought of it in that way,” is a sign of mutual understanding and encouragement.
Our growth in faith also happens when we put our faith into practice. Acting on what we believe, strengthens our own faith and is a witness to others. This is true in every part of our life together as “friends of Jesus.” Whether it is giving away socks to children, making sack lunches for the Parking Lot Dinner, praying for a friend or neighbor, giving an offering, or buying a bag of food for the Food Bank; your faith grows every time you act on behalf of someone else.
There are many opportunities for both study and service here at Trinity Lutheran Church. Be ready for growth—God is not finished with you yet!
Blessings as we grow together,
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