I have been a pastor long enough now to not be surprised when God brings things together in ways that I didn’t see coming. One more small way that this happened has to do with the text for this Sunday. It was chosen long before I knew anything about this new position that I am assuming next month. If someone asked me to pick a final passage to declare to Oak Hill on my last Sunday this could likely have been the one I would have chosen. Three months ago, when I saw this was the text for my final Sunday – I smiled at the way God goes before me. Having said all that, here is the text as well as my “final wish” for Oak Hill as your pastor.
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
My desire for you is that you would continue to be more and more of who God declared you to be. You are God’s beloved children. You are the family of God. Oak Hill is a local manifestation of Jesus Christ in the Twin Cities. You are God’s representatives of grace and truth in the here and now. This is the place you are called to BE the you that God created you to be – nothing more and nothing less than that!
A lot has changed since our family arrived at Oak Hill in 2003. When we showed up our first Sunday, we had a couple kids entering 2nd and 4th grade. We now have a daughter-in-law named Taylor and a son-in-law named Sawyer. God is so good! I was in my 30’s and now I’m not. We knew a few names on the Oak Hill roster and now we deeply love our Oak Hill family. I came as a pastor with hopes that this would be a place of joy, love and hope. It has been just that as we walked through life together extending grace and declaring truth to each other.
Barb, Jack, Solveig and I have been “rooted, built up and strengthened in the faith” as you loved and cared for us so that we are “overflowing with thankfulness.” From that last statement you can clearly see how perfect the passage for this Sunday is for me. God cracks me up with his creative expressions of “I’ve got it Nick.”
As I step away from my role as pastor of Oak Hill Church I am filled with a combination of joy and sadness. I truly loved being your pastor and the fact that you shared your lives with me. I have said it many times, what an incredible gift it is to me that you choose to include me in your laughter and your tears. Along with feelings of joy and a bit of sorrow; I am filled with excitement. I believe that a great adventure lies ahead for Oak Hill and I will get to be a part of it in my new positions as Director of North American Mission and as a supportive member of Oak Hill Church.
Thank you so much for the great journey we have been on together. I truly love you!
This is very different from the word HOPE as it is used in Scripture when it describes God or flows from Him. In the Bible it carries the confidence of a completed action even though it is speaking of something in the future many times. Every word God speaks will be… it is as simple as that. God is never caught off guard or left saying, “If I had known then what I know now, I would have done it differently.” This gives us a solid foundation to stand on and a hope for tomorrow that we can depend upon.
Paul describes this in our text for this Sunday’s message.
I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness— the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people. To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Paul’s words bless us in two ways; 1) this great hope comes to each of us to live in today and 2) this life-giving hope becomes the purpose and message for our lives today as we connect to others. The mystery Paul is speaking of is the message of Jesus – His life, death and resurrection. Paul wants us to know that the God of the Israelites is also the God of Oak Hill Church. He is the One True God and He has chosen to love you. He wants you to enjoy your place in His family. The price has been paid and the “adoption papers” are signed – just come home!
In this world of unknowns and unkindness, we are called to bring the answers to life’s biggest questions.
In God’s Hope,
This morning’s sunrise was spectacular!
I love the newness, the freshness and the clarity that comes with the rising sun. I am a morning person. It is my time to get after it. It is time to have a cup of coffee and listen to the birds as I plan my day.
For me, the morning exemplifies the spiritual reality of moving from darkness to light. Or the biblical truth from our text this week from Colossians 1 where Paul tells us in verses 13-14: “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
The kingdom of Jesus is the antithesis of spiritual darkness. Living a life following Jesus is filled with a light that brings peace, hope and joy. Walking with Jesus brings a faith-based clarity that trusts God’s ways and His chosen revelation. The Kingdom of Jesus is grounded in a love that transcends life’s difficulties and believes that life has meaning even when it isn’t easy. Jesus is the Light of the World and therefore, I see things rightly and truly when I am walking through life with Him.
When my world is dark, I simply don’t see things clearly or the way they really are. Is there something dangerous out there? Should I be afraid or am I just imagining something? Am I unaware that there is something that will be harmful to me just around that turn? We need Jesus’ light to show us where to go and what to avoid. Living in the light is to live free from unnecessary fear as we worship the One True God. If God is for us – who can conquer us? NO ONE!
To live in the Kingdom of the Son [Jesus] is to know who I am. Living in the light is to claim my need and my new status. I am no longer wondering if I matter or if I can produce value for myself. To be in God’s Kingdom is to understand my Creator’s view of me. I am valued beyond comprehension and that is my starting point. As I believe that, as I claim that and live out of that I find light where others find only darkness. I see beauty and possibility where others see nothing of value.
I invite you to join me this Sunday as we look at Colossians 1:1-14. We will learn about God’s precise use of grammar in His Word that brings the promises of yesterday into today. The completed work of Jesus brings light into your life today. Come and check it out!
Pastor Nick Mundis