The Shepherd’s Vigil, 9/22/21

“Be strong and courageous”, Joshua 1:6

This phrase is repeated often in the opening of the Old Testament book of Joshua.  The Hebrew people have been lifted from slavery, endured years in the desert, and now are entering the promised land.  That sounds like good news but to conquer and settle in a new place is a frightening task.  Go and do something they have never done before in a context they have never been in before.

That sounds like our situation.  As we come upon our 40th anniversary this weekend we cannot help but realize the years ahead will be much different than the past.  Our neighborhood context is different; the culture is different; the lifestyles and technologies in this generation are different.  Plus, we have never been a church in a COVID era before.  Everything is not what we have known in our past and yet we are compelled to be the church in this place at this time.

Be strong and courageous!

We will have a big celebration this weekend and honor those who were strong and courageous before us.  They began and led New Horizon over the past 4 decades.  Now it falls on us, be strong and courageous.  It will be on us to share our faith, tell our stories, teach the scriptures, generously give the resources entrusted to us, and dream and vision a church that is a truly Kingdom community.  Be strong and courageous church.

I believe there is a promise of God that will be fulfilled in our courageous work as the church in the days, months, and years ahead.  We go together and journey into the Kingdom here and now in our neighborhood.  We cling to the strong and courageous example set for us by those who faithfully served the Lord and established New Horizon and we walk into what New Horizon will be.

Be strong and courageous,

Pastor Rafe