Over the next month we will look at the gospel of Mark’s portrayal of the teachings and life of Jesus. We begin this Sunday with an odd invitation to pick up a cross and follow Jesus. A cross, the means in which the empire squelches revolution through torture and death. This doesn’t seem like the best invitation to RSVP to. Yet, to be a Christian is to declare that you have accepted the invitation despite the cost.
We find ourselves with arms full of heavy burdens only to hear Jesus ask us to pick up a cross and follow him. This requires us to lay down a few things so that we can pick up the cross. While what we carry is burdensome, it is also comfortable. It’s a load we are used to lugging around and we take comfort in the familiar, even if it is uncomfortable. But Jesus gently reminds us that, “…[his] yoke is easy and [his] burden is light” (Matthew 11:30).
During this next season, our church community is going to be intentional about how we fund our church community and what direction we move her in. We will enter our stewardship and visioning campaign with a simple invitational question, “what shall we bring?” Together we will discover what we can let go of and what we need to pick up. What is God calling us to do and be?
Our Faith Formation class will continue to discuss John Dorhauer’s book “Beyond Resistance,” which challenges us to ask difficult questions about what it looks like to be church in a postmodern world. Our worship service will inspire you to let go and the sermons will ask you to grab ahold. Together we will vision and dream a way forward for Pilgrim that serves Chattanooga and makes our corner of the world a more just and peaceful place.
Jesus invites us bring all that we are and all that we have when we become a follower, a disciple of Christ. It is a sojourn that is meant both to form us more into the image of Christ through the disciplines of study, worship, prayer, service, and generosity, as well as to strengthen us in becoming powerful agents for the good that God is doing in our world.
In the past 100 plus years God has done some amazing things through Pilgrim Church because our foremothers and fathers were willing bring their time, talent, and treasure. They brought their ideas and their willingness to change. They brought what they had so that they could build a more just and peaceful world. So, dear pilgrim, what will you bring to ensure Pilgrim is still changing Chattanooga 100 years from now?