Griffith Lutheran Church
1000 North Broad Street | Griffith, IN, 46319 | 219-838-1626

Growing Christ-centered relationships in our communities through love and service.

If you are new to the Northwest Indiana area, or if you are looking for a new place to worship, we invite you to make Griffith Lutheran Church your new church home.

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A Few Words from Pastor Scales...

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May 15, 2016

Pentecost

Acts 2: 1-21; Psalm 104: 24-34, 35b; Romans 8: 14-17;
John 14: 8-17 [25-27]

​Perhaps I have told you this story before, because I have told it numerous times. My now 80-year-old brother when he was probably three or four years old, wanted to get a toy out of his room. He told my mother and she said, “Go on, you can get it.” Well, yes, he could get it, but he had to go down a dark hall and into a dark room to get it. But off he went. A little later my mother heard this little strained voice saying, “What time I am afraid, I will put my trust in God. What time I am afraid, I will put my trust in God.” She looked down the hall and there he was straining to reach the light switch, finally being able to flip it on, saying all the time, “What time I am afraid, I will put my trust in God.”

​This is when I find myself reaching out for the Holy Spirit, when I need help, when I am fearful and scared, when I am anxious. And this fits well with what Paul wrote to the churches in Rome. He reminded them and now us, that through the Spirit, we are children of God and that through the Holy Spirit, our fears and our anxieties are to be handed over to God.

​As I was thinking of that scripture, I kept being reminded of something I had just heard. Loretta, our secretary had told me about a video played at her home church on Mother’s day. She told me she had a copy of the video and I asked if she would play it for me. The video was about a mother who had handed over to God years of frustration and heartache in relation to her special needs son and what happened when she did so. She and her husband as well as the pediatrician suspicioned something was wrong very soon after Cory was born as they observed that he did not go through the normal developmental tasks. In fact, by the time he was four months old, he still was not able to hold up his head. Over the years, the mom says that no matter what she did, no matter how many doctors she took Cory to, including Mayo Clinic, no matter what kinds of medicines he was on, he was getting more and more uncontrollable. In fact, there was one medication that made him violent. When he began hitting her and scratching her face and arms, she said she absolutely did not know where to go next. Where else was there to go. They had been everywhere and seen every doctor, it seemed.

​The mom said one day, during a quiet time, when her son was asleep, she did her usual kind of asking God for help. She used the phrase, my usual “hashing it out with God”. She said she was just close to giving up; she felt almost limp from all the effort she and her family had spent with Cory. Yet, nothing was helping.

​Then she said, as she sat there in the silence, she heard God tell her that Cory was going to be OK and so was she. “I love Cory more than you could ever love him,” God said to her. “Just trust me, I got it. Let me take care of Cory.”

She said at that moment she surrendered Cory. “OK, he’s yours,” she said, “tell me what to do”. She said she surrendered and gave it all to God and from there the opportunities became abundant and amazing. Things happened that she couldn’t even research or look up in some book or internet. She said she had not realized how big God’s shoulders were and that God could not only direct her path in relation to Cory, but could hold her up when she just couldn’t do it anymore.

​She said that she never felt such peace once she handed over her frustration and trials to God. And what she said next is what the rest of us could take to heart. She said praying and relying on God’s Spirit to take over her life is like running a marathon; it becomes a life style.

​​​Cory’s Mom didn’t just say, “Here God, he’s yours. Thanks.” Cory’s Mom stays in touch with God’s Advocate, the Holy Spirit, in order to be guided, directed, consoled, and encouraged. She attends a monthly bible study, is faithful in worship, spends contemplative time in prayer at home. She and her husband share scripture and prayer together daily as does she and her mother. Turning her frustration with Cory over to God was not the end of her story. That was the beginning; that was the beginning of her marathon.

When we finally say, “God – Here, here’s my life, here’s my troubles, here’s my anxieties, here’s my joys, here’s my love” that’s just the first step in our life’s marathon.

Yes, God gave us the presence of the Holy Spirit as Jesus left this earth. But if the Holy Spirit is to be an advocate, a helper, a companion, then the Spirit has to have something with which to work. The Spirit being in us is one thing; the Spirit working with us is another. What are you and I doing within ourselves and within our faith community to enhance and to promote the working of the Spirit within us and among us? Have we started our marathon in the Spirit, in our individual lives and in our life as a faith community? What would that look like? Certainly prayer is a major piece, both individually and as a community. We had a prayer vigil New Year’s Eve into New Year’s Day. Why not have a sign-up sheet to where someone would always be praying 24/7 for our church, our community, our world? How many of us read our Bible or devotional material daily, or pray daily? Saying we are Christian and that we believe in the presence of the Holy Spirit is not turning our lives over for guidance, encouragement and direction.

Giving our lives to God, turning our lives over to God, as Cory’s mom says, is like running a marathon. It takes effort; it takes persistence, and it takes a lot of prayer.

​Amen,
​Pastor Scales

 

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