Grace and Peace to you from God our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ!
Welcome to Tree of Life Lutheran Church, located in suburban Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. We are a congregation of over 900 baptized members, diverse in our membership and welcoming in our ministry. If you don't know us, please browse around to learn who we are and what we believe. And if you are seeking a family of faith, we hope you'll visit us in person. We are rooted in faith and growing in love. We'd love to have you as a part of our faith family!
Pastors Message for June
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Time marches on. On May 14th, 2016 we baptized Jacob Zehner Weyhenmeyer, infant son of Zach Weyhenmeyer who I baptized on March 20, 1988. Zach was the fourth Tree of Life baptism, but the first infant to be baptized in our congregation, being baptized in our second month of worship. Of the fourteen persons baptized in our first year of worship, only three are still Tree of Life members, the rest having moved, died or fallen into inactivity.
When I look through our membership rolls, I see the passage of time, not just the ticks on my watch, but the stories of people that are part of my own story - a child I baptized, his grandfather and grand mother and father and sister, who I buried, his mother who directed the first TLC Children's Choir in our home, his sister whose first child was born on the day his son was baptized. The old man who built our "old rugged cross" and who rode his wheelchair down Linglestown Road from Pheasant Hill Estates nearly every day to watch our building while it was constructed; the homebound woman who stitched a piece of fabric with our congregation's name and sent it to Chicago where it was stitched together with thousands of others and still hangs in the church offices; the beloved members who loved their congregation enough to gift it with generous resources at their death; the barefoot girl who befriended the tall Viking man; the wonderful vocalists and gifted instrumentalists; the folks who counted the offering or taught our children. Time marches on.
While impatient humans like you and me measure time by the chronology of our calendars, God in Heaven measures time by the divine instincts of Kairos time or what we might call, the right time. And because we fall short of the mind of God, it is sometimes only much later in time that we can understand how something that was hurtful or painful at the time was, in fact, leading us to the right time for something new, for something God has in store for us.
Lately, I've been thinking about how hard we can be on each other. We hold grudges. We resist forgiveness. We only see the worst in others. We define others by their failures. When is the right time to restore a relationship? How long does it take to let go of the past? How often and how long do we cling on to past grievances like they were precious jewels? Time marches on. When is the right time to release the brokenness that confuses your life with God and with others?
How many rich and wonderful stories will we miss when we choose to cling too tightly to what is old and broken, instead of opening our hands to receive the rich and abundant future God has in store?
As we enter into the summer months, I pray for respite and renewal and safe and wonderful times apart for you, but I will also pray for open hands to welcome the story that you and I have been part of already as well as the story we have yet to share in days to come! Time marches on.