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Grace on the road

Pastoral Messages | September 26, 2018

A few weeks ago, I hopped in my car at the end of a full day, turned out of the church parking lot, and headed north on Brady Street to make my way home. Most days, I’m in no particular hurry. I’ve always enjoyed those few evening moments in the car as a time to catch my breath and quiet my mind just a bit.

But on this particular day, I hadn’t traveled more than a few blocks before I found myself behind a slow moving car that seemed to be in even less of a hurry than I was. Perhaps it was the events of the full day or my hangry stomach that was more than ready for dinner, but I was lacking patience to remain behind this sedan for too long. So I got set to maneuver to a different lane, only to have them start to shift as well. Without the use of their turn signal, we were now both in the same situation, just one lane to the right. But now with at least one of us a bit more aggravated.

My patience was wearing quite thin, and I’ll admit that I was nearly ready to lay on the horn (perhaps a little too eager to do so) when I noticed a yellow sticker on the side of the car that said “Student Driver.” Upon a closer look, I could see a young teenager with hands clutched on the wheel.

Having realized this was likely a fairly inexperienced driver, still learning both the responsibility and skill of safe driving, I immediately found myself much calmer. I quickly thought back to my own days of fearfully sitting behind the wheel of a car for the first time, equal parts terrified and thrilled at the new possibilities. So I gave the car a little extra room and eventually made my way into another lane, smiling as I passed by, seeing the instructor in the passenger seat offering guidance.

As I finished my commute, I thought about how quickly I offered some semblance of grace to the driver once I understood their particular circumstances. How willing I was to be a bit more patient, and give a little extra room on the road, once I discovered more of the story. I wondered to myself if I would’ve been just as understanding if the sign on the car hadn’t been there. The answer: probably not.

It was a brief but humbling reminder to me that we simply don’t know what stories and experiences any of us are carrying around at any given time. What “signs” would be attached to each of us that would signal the need for a little extra understanding or compassion as we travel through our days.

I guess that might be why Paul says that, first and foremost, love is patient and kind. Or why the fruits of the Spirit (peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, etc.) are the sorts of things that are most often needed when interacting with others. Come to think of it, Jesus seemed to approach nearly every interaction with others, even those who surely must’ve made him a bit aggravated, with a hefty dose of compassion and understanding.

It seems to me that we might imagine every person walking (or driving) near us wearing their own sign: “Child of God.” Reminding us that, no matter the circumstances, every person is worthy of our care and patience.

Katy Warren, associate pastor

13 Comments on “Grace on the road”

  • Carrie Canterbury

    October 2, 2018 at 2:20 pm

    Great reminder Katy to offer more grace, kindness and patience even when we may be in a hurry or not having a good day.

  • Deb Lamp

    September 29, 2018 at 11:15 am

    Katy what a great reminder for all of us. We are all an inexperienced driver sometime in life. Thank you

  • Kathie Heaps

    September 29, 2018 at 9:28 am

    Katy…perfect timing. Sharing! Love ya girl

  • Birgit Maass

    September 28, 2018 at 10:00 am

    Thanks Katy, I also so enjoyed reading this and what a great message. Strive to be more patient and kind, always a great reminder.

  • Debbie Case

    September 28, 2018 at 6:10 am

    Pastor Katy, Thank you for this article. It was exactly what I needed to read and meditate on this morning. Working with young children every day, it is easy to forget that their personal and unique stories are a part of their learning process. Thank you! 🙂

  • Dorry Curran

    September 28, 2018 at 5:11 am

    Beautifully put…. and aren’t we all “student drivers” as we travel on the highway of life? We are always slowly maneuvering through life’s new and ever more complex experiences, as God sits beside us offering guidance. Just as a teenage driver seems to need more patience and space and grace as he learns to master an automobile, we all need patience and space and grace as we learn to master life.

  • Babs Treiber

    September 27, 2018 at 9:28 pm

    Very good perspective, Katie. Thank you for the reminder! Babs

  • Marci Barnhart

    September 27, 2018 at 4:30 pm

    Beautiful reminder. I start each day with good intentions but find I need to hit the refresh button on occasion. I usually feel better once I do.

  • Barb Kuttler

    September 27, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    This brings to me an old song
    Less of Me
    Glen Campbell, Bobbie Gentry
    Let me be a little kinder
    Let me be a little blinder
    To the faults of those about me
    Let me praise a little more
    Let me be when I am weary
    Just a little bit more cheery
    Think a little more of others
    And a little less of me
    Let me be a little braver
    When temptation bids me waver
    Let me strive a little harder
    To be all that I should be
    Let me be a little meeker
    With the brother that is weaker
    Let me think more of my neighbor
    And a little less of me

    Thanks, Pastor Katy!

    • Joan Bruce

      September 28, 2018 at 10:32 am

      I love the song. Thanks, Barb.

  • Irene Hanssen

    September 27, 2018 at 2:02 pm

    Why do we all need to be reminded on a daily bases that we need to be more kind, compassionate, and understanding the needs of others? You have reminded me of this.

  • Pat Koranda

    September 27, 2018 at 1:54 pm

    I do so enjoy your perspective on the different aspects of our lives. Your article reminded me of listening to Paul Harvey’s “The Rest of the Story” for years on my drive home from the office. We all need to take time to understand “The Rest of the story”.

    Thanks Katy.

  • Kimberly Raap

    September 27, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    Katy,

    I so enjoyed reading your message today, “Grace on the Road.” It was a good reminder to all of us on peace, patience, and kindness.

    Thank you,
    Kim

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Daniel 12:1-3

The Time of the End

1“Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.2“Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.3“Those who have insight will shine brightly like the brightness of the expanse of heaven, and those who lead the many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever.

Psalm 16

1Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.

2I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord;

I have no good besides You.”

3As for the saints who are in the earth,

They are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight.

4The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied;

I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood,

Nor will I take their names upon my lips.

5The LORD is the portion of my inheritance and my cup;

You support my lot.

6The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places;

Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me.

7I will bless the LORD who has counseled me;

Indeed, my mind instructs me in the night.

8I have set the LORD continually before me;

Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.

9Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices;

My flesh also will dwell securely.

10For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol;

Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.

11You will make known to me the path of life;

In Your presence is fullness of joy;

In Your right hand there are pleasures forever.

Hebrews 10:11-25

11Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins;12but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD,13waiting from that time onward UNTIL HISENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.14For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.15And the Holy Spirit also testifies to us; for after saying,

16“THIS IS THE COVENANT THAT I WILL MAKE WITH THEM

AFTER THOSE DAYS, SAYS THE LORD:

I WILL PUT MY LAWS UPON THEIR HEART,

AND ON THEIR MIND I WILL WRITE THEM,”

He then says,

17“AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS

I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE.”

18Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin.

A New and Living Way

19Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus,20by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh,21and since we have a great priest over the house of God,22let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.23Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;24and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,25not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

Christ or Judgment

Mark 13:1-8

Things to Come

1As He was going out of the temple, one of His disciples *said to Him, “Teacher, behold what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”2And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.”

3As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately,4“Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?”5And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you.6“Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many.7“When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end.8“For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.

Daniel 7:9-14

9“I kept looking

Until thrones were set up,

And the Ancient of Days took His seat;

His vesture was like white snow

And the hair of His head like pure wool.

His throne was ablaze with flames,

Its wheels were a burning fire.

10“A river of fire was flowing

And coming out from before Him;

Thousands upon thousands were attending Him,

And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him;

The court sat,

And the books were opened.

11“Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire.12“As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.

The Son of Man Presented

13“I kept looking in the night visions,

And behold, with the clouds of heaven

One like a Son of Man was coming,

And He came up to the Ancient of Days

And was presented before Him.

14“And to Him was given dominion,

Glory and a kingdom,

That all the peoples, nations and men of every language

Might serve Him.

His dominion is an everlasting dominion

Which will not pass away;

And His kingdom is one

Which will not be destroyed.

The Vision Interpreted

Psalm 93

1The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty;

The LORD has clothed and girded Himself with strength;

Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved.

2Your throne is established from of old;

You are from everlasting.

3The floods have lifted up, O LORD,

The floods have lifted up their voice,

The floods lift up their pounding waves.

4More than the sounds of many waters,

Than the mighty breakers of the sea,

The LORD on high is mighty.

5Your testimonies are fully confirmed;

Holiness befits Your house,

O LORD, forevermore.

Revelation 1:-4-8

John 18:33-37

33Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”34Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?”35Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?”36Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.”37Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.”