It is quite fitting that the trees, shrubs, plants, birds, and many other living things here in Charleston are suddenly emerging from the winter season. The community of Two Rivers Church is beginning a new phase in its journey at the very same time the warmth of spring remakes God’s creation around us. Up to now – in our pre-launch phase – we had worship services once per month. Now, we will be meeting weekly to worship together. Pastor Wendy, the launch team, and our support team have been praying for and working toward this milestone. If you are reading this, we ask for your prayers as well!
Two weeks ago, as we sang the songs, gave voice to the prayers, welcomed each other, shared our gifts, and listened to Pastor Wendy’s sermon – I was struck by a surprising and slightly unsettling thought. It was something like: “Very few of us have ever started a church before. We’re not exactly sure how this community will form, which people we will come to know, and how God will work among us as we follow God’s leading to reach out to our neighbors.”
I had a brief moment of panic as I pondered this. Wendy then recounted the wondrous story of how God breathed creation into existence, formed human beings into the Divine likeness and gave them the breath of life (“and God saw that it was supremely good”), and mercifully acted to guide, sustain, and continually reconcile with God’s children. Then I remembered why we are part of this church. Because Jesus changes everything. All he ever did on earth embodied mercy and compassion. And he incomprehensibly offers forgiveness and grace to all, regardless of our evaluation of anyone’s worthiness.
We who are in the small community of Two Rivers Church – we have encountered this Jesus. We have been comforted in and carried through challenges of all kinds by this Jesus. We don’t know everything about Jesus. But we believe that the One who healed the lame and the blind showed compassion for the lost and the downtrodden, and shows us the way of love and forgiveness – we believe that we are called to serve others out of thanks for the many ways God has loved us.
For each of us, this Jesus has made a difference—a life-changing difference. That is more than enough for us as we move forward in the way God is preparing for us.