As I sat to write my final Pastor’s Ponderings article, I began to reflect on my time in Algonac. There are so many unique aspects of this area that I will miss. One of my favorite things to do has been to head down to the boardwalk and sit by the river. Early on, I began to marvel at the big ships as they went by. Where did they come from? Where are they going? What are they hauling? What is their purpose?
With the quarterly newsletter we send being named “The Anchor,” I also began to reflect on the idea of an anchor. There is significance in this piece of the ship. It is one of the most important tools on board. When storms arise, the anchor offers safety and security, but the purpose of a ship is not to remain anchored in one spot forever. In order to fulfill its purpose, a ship must hoist the anchor up and venture out into the open water.
We often say that Jesus is our anchor, and there is comfort in this thought, but I wonder if this is the best position when we consider the complexity of a ship. There are many pieces necessary to set sail, and all of them are needed. In many ways, this is how the church functions as well. We are the Body of Christ, each using our spiritual gifts to further the mission of the church. The Apostle Paul says this in Romans 12:4-5, “For as in one body we have many members and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.” In Colossians 1:18, Paul says this about Jesus, “He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.”
Rather than saying Jesus is our anchor, I would suggest we place Jesus in the proper position as Captain. The one who leads the ship and its crew as it completes its purpose. The modern church has become reliant on the anchor. We ignore the call of our Captain to hoist up our anchor and set sail. We would rather stay in the comfort and security of the harbor, even if it means losing our purpose. The Bible is full of instances where God called people to go into the unknown. To venture out into the scary open waters, trusting in God’s plan. This has not changed. Jesus tells us to GO and make disciples.
There is a lot of uncertainty and unrest in today’s world. My final encouragement to each of you as we enter our final months together is this; trust in Jesus above all else! Continue to sense the ways in which God is calling this church to reach its purpose. Keep looking for the ways in which we are called to pull the anchor up and go into the new and sometimes scary places to share the message of hope and love found in Christ. God is always faithful and with Jesus as our Captain, the church will succeed in its purpose of changing lives and making disciples. It has been a blessing being a part of this congregation. I look forward to the great things that Trinity UMC will continue to do in the years to come.