Growing Christ-centered relationships in our communities through love and service.
If you are new to the Northwest Indiana area, or if you are looking for a new place to worship, we invite you to make Griffith Lutheran Church your new church home.
Weekly worship opportunities:
Sunday Morning Worship 8:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.
Sunday School for All Ages 9:45 a.m. (Sept. through May, adults meet year-round)
All ages explore the same Scripture during the Sunday school hour in age-appropriate classes,
fostering family discussion so that they may grow stronger in their faith together.
A Few Words from Pastor Scales...
September 20th, 2015
Jeremiah 11: 18-20; Psalm 54; James 3:13-4:3, 7-8a; Mark 9:30-37
Theologians often point out how the disciples seldom had discussions, conversations with Jesus. In our lesson today, when Jesus told the disciples that he was about to be crucified, the disciples ignored him and immediately started arguing as who was the greatest among themselves. Then Jesus asks them, “What are you arguing about?” They ducked their heads and didn’t say a thing.
Can you imagine how much more rich our gospels would be had the disciples carried on a conversation with Jesus. There are those who did, but they were not disciples. Nicodemus asked Jesus what he must do to be saved, one woman actually argued with Jesus and won, to heal her daughter and he did, Jairus, the synagogue leader who told Jesus his daughter was dying, kept talking and pestering Jesus until Jesus healed his daughter. In those encounters we learn far more about Jesus, than we do when he was with his disciples.
For instance, you remember at one point the disciples argued as to who was going to sit at the right hand and the left hand of Jesus. There was nothing about a conversation about whether Jesus even had a position at his right and left hand to be sit aside. A couple of weeks ago we heard Jesus say that he was going to be crucified and Peter said, “No, you’re not”. Peter could have at least had a better understanding as to what Jesus meant, had Peter simply asked, “Jesus, what do you mean? What do you mean when you say that you’re going to be crucified and die? What does that mean?” Had Peter questioned Jesus rather than rebuked him, what a difference it would have been -- had there been a conversation, not just for the disciples, then, but for us now.
Yet we know conversations did start happening after the ascension of Jesus; that’s what most of the New Testament is, beyond our gospels, conversations and the letters that are related to conversations. The books in the New Testament are filled with questions and conversations as to what it means to live in faith as a Christian and a child of God.
Jesus knew that by the time he was gone, people would start asking questions and having conversations about what had happened over the last three years. He knew his followers would begin to piece together his life and what he said about his death on the cross and about his resurrection. That is why the Holy Spirit took the place of Jesus, after his ascension. The Holy Spirit began to help, through conversations of Christians, develop and establish their faith, in the first and second century and unto this day and beyond. The Holy Spirit continues through our conversations with one another help us to have a better sense, not a full understanding, but a better sense of God the Son, the Father and the Holy Spirit and what it means to each one of us in relation to our faith.
Conversations related to our faith in Bible studies, Sunday school, confirmation, even on the phone, at coffee or dinner or simply just casual times together, can always be enlightening and bring enrichment in our faith. Conversations related to our faith enhance our understanding of our faith and how we are to live out our faith.
Let me give you an example of what conversation does in relation to one’s understanding of faith. In Adult Sunday school a few weeks ago, we were talking about “God’s will”. We were having a discussion about when people make comments about it must be God’s will when someone’s house burns down, or when someone gets killed in a car wreck or other kinds of situations. We were asking can we really say that something like that is God’s will or God’s Plan. I blurted out that I just did not believe in God’s will, that I did believe that things happen and that God is with us and works with us in the good and the bad, but that I could not agree with the overused term “God’s will”.
Several days later, I was thinking about that discussion and at the same time remembered what had happened a couple of years previously. A couple of years ago, I had gotten quite a few calls from members of a congregation that I had served. Their pastor retired and they asked if I would come back and be their interim until they called another pastor. So I wrote a note to the Church Council and told them that I had gotten calls from members wanting me to return to be the interim and that I would be most willing to do so, if the Council considered that feasible.
Within a week or so, I did get a notice from their Church Council saying that the Council wanted to invite someone to be interim who had never served their congregation before. I was disappointed, but I certainly understood their decision.
Several days after that conversation in Adult Sunday school a few weeks ago, I remembered about being asked to consider being an interim at the church in which I once served, but the church council deciding to go with someone new. I thought to myself, “What if I had been asked to be the interim of that church? I would be there instead of here.”
So in what way does the conversation I had about God’s will in Adult Sunday school have an effect on my faith? Remembering that conversation later on in the week as I remembered the interim possibility of a couple of years ago, I came to realize that I don’t know whether God has a plan or not; I came to realize that I don’t know if something is God’s will or not. That conversation that I had during Adult Sunday school help me remember that this is God’s world, not mine.
That is what holy conversations are all about, moving our faith from what it is to what it can be.