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Life-giving Scars

I’ve lived on both coasts of Florida. I started out my years in Florida on the Atlantic, and then God called me over to the Gulf. I still love the ocean and enjoy my periodic visits to the east side, but I’ve fallen in love with the Gulf side and the Nature Coast. This morning, as I write, I’m actually enjoying the sunshine and view of one of our many natural springs. A reminder of Christ’s kindness and faithfulness in allowing me to serve in the warmth and beauty of the Nature Coast. 

God is good all the time in providing moments which remind us of His beauty and work in our story in the past, present, and future. Our worship gathering this weekend is one such opportunity. I don’t look at Nature Coast Church as an institution. I believe any local, gathered expression of Christ’s people is a story. A story made up of stories of diverse individuals to reveal the larger story of the redemptive work of Jesus. This Sunday we have set aside to encourage and pray for Chuck and Debbie Holiday, our most recent additions to the ministry team of Nature Coast Church. Yet this Sunday is not just for them--it is for us too.To rejoice at what God has done in the story of His Church, and be reminded of our mission and vision. The relentless vision that Jesus + Nothing = Everything, and that the message of the inexhaustible grace of the inexhaustible Christ is the only life-giving message for our exhausted world.

Isaiah was an ancient prophet to the people of God. One of his prophecies is about a servant of God who is going to come and suffer. This servant (Jesus) will be wounded and bruised, for and because of, the brokenness of God’s people. The prophet says something I think is quite shocking about the Servant’s wounds: The wounds will be the power and source of healing for people. “By this Servant’s wounds lives will be healed”. Is it not just like God to bring healing through wounds? Christ’s scars bring the healing and grace that our hearts hunger for!  

Sunday we intentionally remember that Chuck and Debbie are instruments in the hands of our redeemer,Jesus. It is not Chuck and Debbie’s gifts or their many years in ministry that will provide spiritual formation, wholeness, and healing to the stories at Nature Coast. It will be their wounds, scars, and heartbreak--experienced in the stories of their ministry, marriage, and home--that will provide the words and conversation that share the healing touch of Jesus, our Savior. We too are instruments in Christ’s hands, serving each other, our kids, spouses,and friends through our wounds and scars. Wounds and scars that when hidden,can never bring healing, wholeness and life. It is through wounds and scars that all relationships flourish, for it is in the scars that we see that the only life-giving words we have to offer each other are Jesus + Nothing = Everything. For by His wounds we have been, are being, and will one day will be totally healed! Jesus Saves – Only Jesus Saves! 

I’m grateful Christ has called me to share my wounds and Christ’s glory at Nature Coast Church with you…His beloved Children and Saints!

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