A Message From The Pastor
Each month our Pastor, Rev. Darryl Andrzejewski, has a message for us. It always makes us think about what is happening in our lives and the lives of those around us during that time. Click on the above link for his biography.
"FIRST THINGS FIRST:
The Theology of Elongated DNA"
Do you know that I could begin every sermon with a sentence? A sentence that is the same at the beginning, but with a different ending every week.
The beginning would be "There are two kinds of people in the world..."
There are two kinds of people in the world... dog people or cat people. There are two kinds of people in the world... morning people or night people. There are two kinds of people in the world... Michigan Wolverine fans or... well... what else is there?!
How 'bout this one: There are two kinds of people in the world, risk takers and the overly cautious.
I am, without a doubt, the latter.
I have never been, nor will ever be, reckless. I am a painfully cautious person. I tend to study and analyze and weigh possibilities long before I choose to leap. And my leap is more like a baby step. I am overly responsible to a fault. With the exception of comfortably running about 5 miles an hour over the posted speed limit, there are no other laws that I choose to willfully break. I've never been drunk. I've never gotten high off of drugs. I've had one traffic ticket since 1989. I've never caused an accident. I was never summoned to the principal's office.
There are those that stand at the edge of a frigid pool of water and jump. Then there's me. I start with my toe, then my foot, calf, thigh, waist, chest, shoulders, neck... okay... whew... I'm in.
Part of it, I think comes from nature (it's how I'm wired). Part of it, I think, comes from nurture. I'll always be convinced that the reason I've worn glasses since 1972, is not because of ocular degenerative astigmatism, but because I sat too close to the TV watching Sesame Street.
The flip-side, however, to what I gain in responsibility, I lack in adventure.
Israeli scientists working on the human genome project have identified what is being called the risk-taking gene. People identified as excitable, curious, and natural risk takers have a longer version of a gene known as D4DR than do us cautious, careful types. Elongated D4DR's often engage in extreme sports: Mountain-climbing, parasailing, hang-gliding, and base-jumping. Me? Not! Not! Not! Not! (Why? Because you could poke your eye out doing things like that).
The biblical definition of faith is this: "Faith is being sure of what we hope for, and certain of what we do not see" (Heb 11:1). Certain of what we do not see! Do you what that is? It's called risk. It is a unyielding trust that life beyond your control will go according to plan. You do it all the time without even realizing it. Just driving down the street, you put your life in the hands of those driving 55 MPH past you, coming in the opposite direction. One false move at the wrong moment, one inch of variation on the steering wheel of the oncoming car could be fatal. But you put your hope in something you can't see. And you do it all the time.
The God who made heaven and earth and everything in it, the God who molded and fashioned you with his mighty act of goodness and grace says this: "Put me first" (Ex 20:3). It's Commandment Number One for a reason. Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, Jesus declares, and all the "other things" will fall into place (Mt 6:33).
In many areas of our lives of faith, it comes as second nature. Prayer, worship, praise... for many of us it is as much a part of our lives as the day is long. But there are parts of our Christian journey that aren't so easy... not quite second nature.
There are differing intensities of faith. There is anything, I suppose, from the shallows to the ocean depths. There is the simple rocking of faith. Nothing too profound, just a leaning. We pray to a God we cannot see-and sometimes we wonder through all of the noise of this world if He is small enough to hear my heart-but we believe He hears us. So we pray (for some, that may be a leap of faith... going to God in prayer, but for most of us it is merely a leaning of faith).
Consider this: The most fundamental practice of first-fruits stewardship is that God comes first. We take from the top (the best of what you have) and we set it aside for the work of the Lord. Then, we not only live off of the rest, but thrive off it (Malachi 3:10).
Faith, remember, is being certain of what you do not see. So, if God says "seek first the kingdom, and all these things will be added", you can be assured He means it.
But this much is true: Giving to God first, before you pay your mortgage, before you pay utilities, your auto loan, your credit cards, and your tuition, setting aside a sacrificial gift first does not jive with our nature. It is not a leaning of faith. It is a leap of faith.
It goes against the grain of our sensibilities... unless we have faith in the One who said, I won't let you fall... I will raise you up (Psalm 121)!
But God can't catch you, if you don't let go.
Consider Moses- for all of his cautiousness and carefulness- was the face of the church, however wandering they may have been. But there came that time when with Moses gone, the people were wondering if God was going to continue to care for them. Repeatedly, the Lord reminded them, "Be strong and courageous; do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
When it came time for the people to cross the Jordan River, old Moses was not there to part the waters, but God promised to make a way. They could trust Him, they could indeed have faith in what they couldn't see, but God asked them to take the first step: "As soon as the priests... set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap" (Joshua 3:13).
In other words, the people would experience God's power... but they had to take that first step.
Biblical stewardship is not a money issue, it's a faith issue: God must come first. People of God, He waits, He watches, He stands ready to catch and to lift up.
Make the first move.
Let go. - DLA
Historic Trinity Lutheran Church
1345 Gratiot Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48207
Phone: (313) 567-3100
Fax: (313) 567-3209