From Pastor Hricko – June 2017

From Pastor Hricko – June 2017

Dear Friends,

Not long ago, a video gone viral featured an adorable little girl hugging a discarded water heater made to look like a robot as it sat in front of a house waiting for trash pick-up. Maybe you’ve seen it. Like other videos on YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram, it is very cute. But what really got me excited was when our daughter Andrea called my attention to the video’s background and I realized to my utter amazement that I was looking at the front of the house we lived in before moving to St.  Andrew! Well, actually it was just the mailbox in the front of the house. But still, it was unmistakably the location of our old house in that very cul-de-sac, no question. The next thing I knew, I was telling people that “a video of our old house has gone viral!” The last time I checked there were close to 3 million views.

Not long ago, I also read an online article on how to “Make Jesus Go Viral.” As you might imagine, it came with a challenge to bring Him up to people in creative and unexpected ways and places where someone else might take the image or word you shared or the experience of which you were part and set off not just a chain reaction but a multiplication of people who want to experience the life He brings to the world. Just imagine if there was standing room only in our sanctuary every Sunday, like there was on Easter Sunday, because Jesus was going viral through the witness of St. Andrew. Or, what if more people sounded like those who came to me after “A Night on the Delta” and said, “We need a bigger Great Room?” The idea, of course, is not to increase the size of an organization. It’s to see more people of infinite worth entering the kingdom of God because God, by grace and with the power of His Spirit, is making Jesus go viral through people like you.

As the work of our Futures Task Force continues toward summer, conversations in its three working groups are deepening about bold initiatives, like offering another service in the language of an expanding group of people in our region, launching a ministry of St. Andrew in an additional location, and expanding access to our current house of worship and service. I believe those conversations are also about Jesus going viral and I have no doubt that the Spirit will direct our considerations as we enter the second half of 2017. But, please! Do not wait to put in a good word for Jesus to your friends, family members, and colleagues whenever you have the chance. Invite them into His family. Seize every unexpected opportunity to do what every child of God is meant to do as those who have the greatest message in the history of the world to share.
I still get excited to tell people about a little girl and a water heater because the mailbox to our old house happens to be in the picture. The reason is not just that it’s cute. It’s because something in that viral video connected personally to me and to my story. And I would have missed it had Andrea not helped me to see it. But, what if we were so excited about the fact that our Brother is the living God that we couldn’t help but connect that story, through our story, to the stories of others in unexpected ways whenever we have the chance? What if we helped others to see themselves in the story of Christ and the church for which He died, rose, and sends His Spirit?
If you’re curious, go to YouTube and search for “Rayna Meets a Robot” and look for the white mailbox. That’s it! More importantly, hang on to the message of the article I mentioned. Its central thought is this: We are the viral leaders to help people “taste and see” how good Jesus really is. Let’s go viral, by the power of God, for the hope of the world!

The Lord be with you +

In Christ, Your Brother,

Pastor Hricko