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Living Life on the Narrow

From Pastor Gary …

Living Life on the Narrow

Jesus said, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” - Matthew 7:13-14

I want to thank you for the many words of greeting I have received since getting back from a few days away. Many thanks to Georgy, our director of family and children’s ministry, for the great job she did preaching God’s Word on July 5 and 12. With the online and outdoor worship service, I am so grateful to have someone who knows our routines to fill in for me during this pandemic. Getting away reminded me of other vacations in our married life. One occurred while visiting Jenny’s sister in Arkansas.

Her friend Dean and a few of his buddies invited me to go cave exploring with them. I was thinking we were headed to a state park with clearly marked trails, a sign, and maybe a paved path to a well-defined cave. Instead, we ended up in a clearing in the woods. And the cave was really a rock tube. I took a big gulp and brought up the rear as we crawled into what looked like a hole in the ground. What could possibly go wrong?

Back then, I weighed about 100 pounds more than I do know. Crawling through that tight crevice wasn’t easy. I was covered with Arkansas red clay as I navigated through that small passage. Dean said the passage would enter into a larger cave. Well, we never found the cave. It was peaceful and scary at the same time. All I could think was, “Here I come, Jesus,” as I crawled through that NARROW way.

Jesus told a crowd about another narrow way – a narrow way that leads to everlasting life. Everyone is invited to take this route. While no one is excluded, the way of Jesus requires a choice. Unlike that Arkansas cave we could not find, the narrow way Jesus promises lead to an eternity with God. His point was not that the kingdom of God somehow filters people out without a choice. His point was that to follow him we have to be intentional. In means each day we need to make intentional choices to live on that narrow road.

The good thing about the narrow way is that it focuses our attention on the things that last – love, joy, peace, forgiveness, grace, and prayer, among other things. I am thankful that you have chosen to be on the narrow way with me.

I know that many of you are suffering from “Pandemic Fatigue.” Elkhart County is now recognized by the State of Indiana as a COVID-19 hotspot. One of our own, George Pietrzak, has the virus. I encourage you to be diligent in prayer. Remember those in our community, like George, are at-risk. On Monday night, our reopening task force will be meeting to discuss how to approach opening for indoor worship on Aug. 9. Please pray for these leaders.

On Sunday, I will be sharing a story in 2 Kings that is a bit unusual. I found in this fascinating account about four lepers some lessons for us on how we can complete our mission to influence others with the Gospel message.

This week, step onto the road with Jesus. Let’s go!

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