Dear friends in Fallbrook,
This spring millions of Disney fans around the world asked the same question: Why mess with the memories? You see, Disney was preparing to release a live-action remake of the beloved animated classic, “Beauty and the Beast.” Fans pored over every frame of the trailers, every leaked set photo, and every circulating rumor to discover if the remake could live up to the original. People rightly wondered, “Why would Disney mess with our memories of the classic?” Anyone with fond memories of the original wouldn’t necessarily want those old memories replaced with new ones.
Like devoted Disney fans, we all have fond memories we’d never want to give up—the day of your wedding, the carefree summers of your childhood, the moment you welcomed your first child into the world, the professional success you achieved after long years of effort. But we surely also have many sour memories as well.
I think it’s fair to say that, for many people, our memories of the church aren’t always the fond kind. You may have witnessed the church at its worst. Perhaps an individual church member betrayed you, or church leadership let you down, or the attitude of an entire community of believers drove you away. When our memories of church are negative (and they often are), the thought of stepping inside those doors again make us wonder, “Why mess with those memories?”
I won’t claim that our church is perfect—we’ve had our share of ugly moments. But I will say that the church was never meant to depend on the strength of its members. If that were true, every church would have failed long ago.
The power of the church comes from the truth that binds it together. God designed the church to share remarkable unity that comes not from the members, but from the head—Jesus. We share one faith, one heart, one mission, one voice, and one Lord.
This month we have begun a new worship series at St. Stephen Lutheran Church called, “The Power of One.” In this series we’re going to look at the remarkably simple and powerful design Jesus has for his church—a design that can overcome all our sinful weakness and selfish behavior.
Whether you’ve got good memories of church, bad memories of church, or no memories of church, I hope you’ll spend time with us one Sunday morning to hear the Power of One that Jesus wants us all to remember above all else.
Serving in Christ,