Archives for posts with tag: Lititz PA

BTTC Web JPEGMy neighbor rang the bell. I put the dogs away. She carried a box. With a smile she said, “They delivered this to my house but it belongs here.” Checking the address I said, “Ah, thanks.” “I wondered if they delivered mine here by mistake?” she said. Sure enough, I looked and the box that had just been left at our door belonged to her. I gave it to her. She thanked me. I thanked her. The dogs came upstairs and all was well with the world again.

I wonder if that might not be somewhat how the shepherds felt that night in Bethlehem. Not the whole mix up of the boxes thing, but the idea that something that does not belong to me might have been delivered to me by mistake.

This was not just another baby that had been born. It was “The Savior, who is Christ, the Lord” and they just heard the news. No way, Joseph! Had it been today, one of them would have dialed mom, who would have said, “Shepherd boy, you need to come home and get some sleep. You’re seeing things.” The girlfriend on Instagram would have responded, “Where’s the pic, loser?” The boss would have yelled, “Why don’t you just say you want to go home early tonight?”

Fact is nobody in their right mind would believe them. The shepherds themselves couldn’t possibly believe this was happening to them! Stuff like this only befalls the rich and powerful. They sit close to the movers and shakers. They control information. They spin the news. Raw broadcast like what they just got never happens and when it does it goes first to the royal chambers of kings and queens who sleep quietly in their bed of luxury. Or to dictators who never sleep, but never to shepherds who are always awake but for different reasons.

They story does not make sense. You have to wonder if the lead angel lost his way. Was his GPS inside an Apple phone? Couldn’t they tell by the smell that this was no palace? Didn’t the shepherds clothes give them away as being among the despised?

But contrary to all the logic, defying the speculation of the script writers who had co-opted the plot and re-imagined the narratives anticipating the Birth of the King of Kings, when the news of His coming came, it was indeed delivered first to the most disenfranchised, the lowest of the lowest in the totem pole. God could hardly have gone any lower. People of no fame were the first to hear of the most famous one. The shepherds were wrong. The package was delivered to the right address and this was no mere coincidence.

Thanks to that timely and well-placed delivery, salvation is for all and people like me can share in the hope that baby brings. Thanks to God’s snubbing of the powerful and well connected, people with only the clothes on their back can now be richly robed in His glory. Thanks to that defying act of grace, the poorest of the poor, both physically and morally, can now become beloved children of God. It’s the only way I can possibly get in. God bypassed the powerful in the Advent so He could make His pitch to the whole world in Redemption. The plot thickens.

And that’s what makes Christ’s arrival on earth the most outrageously exciting event and the coolest birth in the annals of baby’s births in all of history. I’m dancing and toasting to it.

“The people who walk in darkness
Will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land,
The light will shine on them.” (Isaiah 9:2)

Joy to the world,

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade
Lead Pastor, Grace Church, Lititz, PA

I have been reflecting on the last few months since I started here at Grace Church. Yes, it is hard to believe but March 4 will mark the third month since I started as lead pastor at Grace Church. And since I was in bed with a cold the last 24 hours, it gave me a lot of time to think about the events that have transpired in this relatively short period of time.

First, on the home front. Naza and I are happy to be together under the same roof. Yes, there are many unopened boxes lying around parts of the house, but we are taking our time, after all, we are still eagerly awaiting the sale of our home in Ohio so we can make more permanent plans for housing here. Naza keeps looking for that ideal place, which we know is out there, but we are not going to do anything until our house sells. More prayers, please!

During the short time I have been here, I have spent a lot of time bringing our staff together, working to clarify vision, and giving definition to the specific roles each staff member needs to play. We had a retreat, did some assessments, and spent much time in prayer and conversations about what our different jobs need to be as we move forward with the mission God has given our church. This mission, which we are working hard to clarify, obviously has to do with reaching men, women and children for Christ. There is no secret about that.

We also desire to grow in our love for God and His Son, the Lord Jesus. And I hope you have sensed this as we have sought to bring the Word of God to the forefront of everything we do, including our series on Sunday morning. I started with a series on the words of angels during the events surrounding the Birth of Christ, then moved into a series about the Church as the hope of the world, and just last Sunday we finished a series on the little Old Testament book of Haggai.

I hope you have been challenged to consider where you stand with God throughout these messages. My desire is for all of us to have a vision for God’s glory in our midst. If we pursue God with all our hearts and allow Him to have His way, this place where God resides (meaning us, the living church) will ignite with a renewed vision and enthusiasm for God and the people who have yet to come to Him. Then we will see this physical place we call “Grace Church” ignite with an unprecedented enthusiasm for God and the people we have yet to reach.

Another task I have taken on during this time is the leadership of the Lititz Christian School-Grace Church dynamics. I have come at this with my eyes wide open, fully expecting that from now on, this becomes “my problem” as well. But I am also certain that God does not intend for us to fail. And I intend to lead our ministry in a way that brings unity, cohesiveness and complimentary efforts between the Church and School. I see the School representing a vital arm of the church in reaching out to families in our community. And I will do everything I can to integrate the School into the life of the Church. Please pray for me and everyone involved in this process. I guarantee you: it is not an easy task, but with God I believe we will succeed.

Thank you to all of you who have come to me and shared your story of how God is bringing you to a place of healing after years of turmoil inside your heart. This is NOT my doing, it is the Spirit of God working in our midst. Please open your eyes and consider where God would place you in His service here at Grace Church.

And don’t forget to join us this Sunday at Grace, as we launch a new series we’re calling “Time to Celebrate.” This Sunday your heart will be moved as we celebrate children. Come and hear once again why it is vitally important that we continue to invest in the lives of the little ones Jesus loved so much. Hope to see you there!

Pastor Ivanildo C. Trindade