05-17-15 Basic Training: Growing Up

Wendy and Megan and I spent the weekend in Chicago, and I was reminded of all of the things that I love and hate about Chicago.  We got to spend time with my aunt and uncle (whom I love), and eat at That Pasta Place (which I love), and sit in traffic for hours (which I really hate).  We got home Saturday night, enjoyed a morning of worship with the First Covenant Church family, and then ran back to Morton for Megan’s graduation ceremony that afternoon. 

And then we came home and collapsed in exhaustion.

But that doesn’t mean that we could take it easy this week.  Aside from all of the “normal” pastor-y things that go on around here on a weekly basis, we also have a Congregational Meeting on Thursday evening (and please feel welcome to join us, if you can), as well as a VBS decorations work day on Saturday morning. 

Yes, our actual Vacation Bible School is still about a month and a half out, but our preparations for VBS are kind of a year-round thing, and now’s the time to kick it into high gear--and we are trying to recreate the Himalayas this year for our kids, so that’s a smidgey bit of an undertaking, as you might imagine.  So if you have some time to join us on Saturday and share your creativity and/or your nimble fingers and/or your strong back, we could sure use your help, even if only for a couple of hours.  And if you can’t join us, then I’d ask for you to be praying for those who can (that our time is well-spent and effective), and to be praying already for those children and families whom our VBS might be able to touch and to grow in the Lord this coming Summer.

In our message this week, we returned to Romans 5 (after a week off for our Youth-led Mother’s Day service), and we talked a little bit about growing up in God.

Now, when I say that, most of us tend to think about children needing to grow up in the church and in Christian families.  But really, I’m talking about each and every one of us--we all need to grow up, every day, more and more, into the likeness of God.  If any of us thinks that we don’t have any more growing up to do, then I’m assuming that we’re thinking that we’ve already attained the likeness of God... and I’d really love to spend some quality time with someone that perfect.

Truth is, even Paul didn’t think that he was done growing up, so I’m pretty sure that the rest of us still have some growing up to do today.  Even the hard days train us to have endurance, and learning that endurance (or not learning that endurance) is what decides the character that God is wanting to build in us--and it’s that character that gives us an understanding what our hope in God truly is.  It’s not just a hope that God will necessarily take away the stuff that we’re suffering through--because if that’s all it is, then we still haven’t grown past that “learning endurance” bit.  No, it’s a hope that trusts in the character of the God whose love and grace are so much bigger than the pains and sins that have worn us down. 

Are you done growing yet? 

If not, how can you grow up a bit today?