THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: 40 YEARS, RELATIVELY SPEAKING, IS A VERY LONG TIME. Most things in life simply don’t last that long. Marriages, relationships, jobs and almost anything else you can think of. People are not very good at long term commitment. The average time that anyone spends in any given church is 2 1/2 years. The average marriage lasts 8.2 years and relationships like friendships come and go. The average time spent on any single job is 4.2 years. That says something about the human condition. We’re not very committed long term. A lot of things interfere with longevity. Our own selfishness, an unwillingness to work through problems, the attraction we all feel from time to time to run and of course there are opportunities that my come from outside the boundaries of our relationships, commitments and responsibilities. FAITHFULNESS AND COMMITMENT OVER THE LONG HAUL REQUIRES CERTAIN KINDS OF VIRTUE. Not everyone has them an if they are there not everyone puts them to practice. Virtues like Love, patience, courage and humility are all required if we are going to avoid the tendency to quit an move on. Our church is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary. While the existence of a church over 40 years is not unique what IS unique the the fact that a large part of our congregation has been a part of this church for 5, 10, 20, 30 years and more. All of these long term members have had reasons to quit, there have been challenges and tough times to endure. Offenses have occurred and sometimes the people we are worshiping with are the one’s we like the least. However, we keep on keeping on, there is no turning back, we are in this together for a lifetime. It wouldn’t be possible to offend me out of this church and this people. We are committed. That means we work through our problems, we learn to love and forgive, we assign ourselves tasks of servanthood and we are faithful to do all we can to advance the cause of Christ throughout the world. The glue that holds us together is the covenant bond of relationship we have with Jesus Christ and because of that we have a covenant bond of relationship with His Church/ His People. Jesus said; [Matthew 16:18] “I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.” THAT’S WHAT WE’RE CELEBRATING TODAY…BEING PART OF A CHURCH, BUILT BY JESUS CHRIST ON THE SHOULDERS OF THISE WHO ARE COMMITTED FOR A LIFETIME. That’s why I say; 40 YEARS, RELATIVELY SPEAKING, IS A VERY LONG TIME.
– Pastor Stephens