Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Where will our children learn about God? Will it be from a friend at school who tells them God is made up? A movie where God is George Burns or Morgan Freeman (I suppose you could do a lot worse)? A psychology class that says God is a state of mind or a philosophy class that says God is just an idea? Where will our children learn of a God who loves and cares, acts and interacts, answers prayers, guides, and forgives?
When I was young, my parents brought me to Sunday school. I remember sitting in the car on the way to church wondering why we couldn’t just stay home. My attitude perked up once I was actually there playing with kids my age and learning the wonderful stories of the faith. All these years later (trust me, it’s a lot of years), I can still remember putting together a puzzle of Jonah being swallowed by the whale, and making angel wings we could wear on our backs out of brown paper grocery bags (remember those?).
“Will our children have faith?” is an old question. I believe we all have faith in something, but the question is really about who or what we trust to see us through life. Is our higher power merely wishful thinking, or is there Someone out there watching over us…a Real Presence that we can get to know better?
My church helped me find answers. I wanted to read that story of Jonah and the whale for myself, and to hear what my pastor had to say about it. I wanted to learn where we came from as a community of believers, and what God was saying to us now. I wanted a church family that would help me grow, pray for me, and help me discover God’s love. I still want that today for me and my family – a community where we tell the old, old stories in fresh new ways and travel together on the road of faith. I pray that you too can find a congregation that gives you wings, even if they are just made of grocery bags.
Pastor Scott Lindner
Atonement Lutheran Church
Wesley Chapel, Florida