Beyond the Pulpit

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had.” – Romans 15:5

This month we get the joy of celebrating Flora First Christian Church’s 140th Anniversary. This a great accomplishment and one that deserves celebrating! At a time when it seems we are hearing of church after church closing its doors due to decline in membership, we are blessed to be able to say, “We are 140 years old!”

But just how did we get here?

We could begin answering that question by saying, “140 years ago, a group of people got together and decided to start a church.” That answer would be accurate.

We could answer by saying, “Over the past 140 years, people have worked hard to maintain the congregation of First Christian Church.” That answer would also be accurate.

However, the best answer we could give would be: “God has blessed us, provided us with endurance, and given us the encouragement the church has needed to keep going.”

When we read Romans 15:5 (above), we tend to read it as individuals. “May the God who gives ‘ME’ endurance and encouragement give ‘ME’ the same attitude of mind toward ‘others’ that Christ Jesus had.” But this verse equally pertains to the church as a whole. “May the God who gives ‘THE CHURCH’ endurance and encouragement give ‘THE CHURCH’ the same attitude of mind toward ‘others’ that Christ Jesus had.” Christ has been providing endurance and encouragement to Flora First Christian Church which is how we have gotten to where we are today.

While we pat ourselves on the back for making it to 140 years, we must be careful not to become prideful. It has not been by our doing, or by the doings of those who came before us, that we have reached this milestone. It is only through God’s gift of  endurance, encouragement, and grace that we have made it this far.

As we celebrate on the 7th and 8th, let us not forget to give God all the glory! Let us celebrate the gift the church has been to each of us and ask the Holy Spirit to continue showing us ways to bring His church to others. Let us continue relying on God’s endurance and encouragement as we move ahead.

And on the weekend of the 7th and 8th, let us celebrate like never before!

Happy 140th Anniversary Flora FCC!!
In Christ’s Love,
Pastor Kim