From the Pastor’s Desk
All of us have heard the proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child.” It suggests that it takes an entire community of individuals, each gifted and graced in his or her own ways, working together, loving and investing in others for the greater good to make something good happen.
Well, I would like to suggest that it takes a church to move a pastor! The last couple of weeks I have witnessed the people of Pleasant Grove coming together as a community of faith to prepare for and welcome me as your new pastor. I have been so impressed and grateful for the myriad ways you have paved the way for me: All the hard work and long hours that so many of you gave in the parsonage with the updates, repairs and cleaning. Large baskets filled paper goods and household items. And the food – wonderful food — delivered to me and my family. Your acts of kindness and generosity have helped me already feel right at home.
The Bible has much to say about the spiritual practice of hospitality. Abraham welcomed and entertained angels unawares and received God’s blessing. In Romans 12:13, Paul reminds believers to “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” And in Matthew 25, the Parable of the Judgment, also known as the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, Jesus explains in part to those are recognized and honored by him, receiving the very Kingdom of God, “I was a stranger, and you welcomed me.” (v.35) He reminds them that whenever they have do this “to one of the least of these… you have done it to me.” (v.40)
I was a stranger, and you welcomed me! I cannot possibly name every person by name (I’m still learning names!), but I can say that because of your welcome I do not feel so much like a stranger anymore. I am proud and pleased to be your pastor.
In the love of Christ,