Edgewater Lutheran Church
Deeply Rooted 09.12
      • Bible Trivia
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        Holy Smokes: BBQ Potluck

        September 25, 2021 - 4:00 PM - 9:00 PM
        Join your Edgewater family for a party at the Marsh home! Josh will be bringing the BBQ and getting his pool ready for the whole gang, so bring your swimsuit, your favorite side, and your appetite!
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        Mt. Baldy Moonlight Hike

        October 15, 2021 - 4:30 PM - 9:00 PM
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        Ironworks Men's Retreat

        October 1, 2021 - 4:00 PM - October 2, 2021 - 5:00 PM
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        Bloom Women's Retreat

        October 29, 2021 - 4:00 PM - October 30, 2021 - 5:00 PM
  • Breath Away
  • Fill This Place
  • Reckless Love
      • Matthew 18:10–14ESV

      • Deuteronomy 30:1–10ESV

  • Rooted in Faith

    In case you missed the memo, this morning we are celebrating Edgewater’s relaunch. And we are celebrating a relaunch because Edgewater has been around for a while, but a lot about this congregation is new and fresh and exciting.
    We have this new space we’re worshiping in on Sunday mornings, and we’re so thankful for this beautiful space that gives us room to worship our God and come together in community.
    We have a new pastor, that’s me. I graduated from the Seminary in St. Louis this past May and was sent here to serve you.
    And we have a handful of other new things that are going along with this relaunch, we have a newly revamped website, a new church app, new presentation software that I hope is making your worship more seamless, a newly updated constitution.
    And all of that stuff is great, but why? Why are we doing any of it? Why are we here this morning? Why does Edgewater Lutheran Church exist at all? Well, we have an answer to that in our new mission statement. Although, I hesitate to say new, because it’s more of a refinement than something entirely new. The mission statement used to be “connecting people to Jesus.” Which is great, I do love connecting people to Jesus - but it lacks a certain organizational clarity and direction. So our new, refined mission statement is:
    Deeply rooted in faith, Edgewater proclaims the love and forgiveness won by Christ's death and resurrection through outreach and service. We nurture Christian development through worship, education, and prayer that we would be a faithful community that serves one another and the world.
    And this week we start a sermon series together, walking through this mission statement that guides what we do and who we are as a community. And we start looking at the beginning, “deeply rooted in faith.”
    And you might say, “if that’s what we’re doing, why did we read that passage from Deuteronomy? What does that have to do with being deeply rooted in faith?” Well, that passage talks about how God will take care of His people, how they will grow in their relationship with Him, and how that will impact their lives. And a tree and it’s roots are a powerful analogy for helping us to understand this, because trees without roots wither, roots need to be fed, and roots shape the tree that is visible to the rest of the world. Without being rooted in faith, our lives wither, our roots in faith needs to be fed, and our roots in faith shape our lives that are visible to the rest of the world.

    Trees Need Roots

    So the first connection for this analogy is that we need faith like trees need roots. If you were to take a tree and cut it off at the base, take your Sawzall or your chainsaw and cut it off, then set the tree somewhere else - it’d have to be a small tree I guess - that tree wouldn’t keep living and growing, all it would do is sit there and wither and rot.
    And in Deuteronomy we get a little glimpse of what happened to the Israelites when they didn’t have faith. God scattered them to the winds, He let other nations invade and carry them off, their relationship with Him was broken.
    And in our own lives, without faith we wither and rot. Jesus Christ came to this earth and lived and died and rose again. And He promises us that through faith in that, through faith in Him, we will have eternal life. Without that faith, we will be cast off. But with that faith, we are promised eternal life with Him in a perfect New Creation!

    Roots Need Sustenance

    But roots don’t just sit anywhere, you cannot plant a tree’s roots in a toxic pool of sludge and expect that the tree will do just fine. The roots need to be planted in enriching soil with water and nutrients.
    So what does that look like? What is enriching soil for our faith? Well, worship here this morning is a good start - but if a tree is only in good soil one day a week, or less, it’s not going to get what it needs. So we strive to plant our roots in enriching materials more than that. Some quick ideas for that during the week might be . . .
    Joining a community group. This is a group of 8-10 people who meet every week to spend time in God’s word and talk about how it applies to their lives.
    Start a Bible reading plan. Our new app, Faithlife, lets you join everyone else at Edgewater in reading through the Bible together - that reading plan starts next week.
    Pray. Talk to God. That is how relationships work.
    But they aren’t all just reading and studying. Our faith can also be enriched just by hanging out with the community of believers. Getting coffee with a friend from church, playing in a fantasy football league with other Christians, going to a hockey game together, grabbing dinner - going to the pool party at the Marsh’s in a couple weeks. Spending time with other Christians enriches our faith.
    Spending time serving our neighbor. Loving our neighbor can also enrich our faith.

    Roots Shape Everything Else

    And our roots, our faith, can actually lead us to do things like that. And I want to draw your attention back to the image we started with. Because there is a certain level of symmetry to a tree and its roots. That’s because the roots shape the parts of the tree that everyone can see. And in the same way, being deeply rooted in our faith shapes the rest of our lives.
    While I was a student at Vanderbilt in the education department, there was a saying that professors loved to use. It was that frequently, learning is “caught, not taught.” Especially when it comes to character and attitudes, telling a student something and teaching it will not necessarily change anything. Surrounding them with it, showing it to them over and over again, that can have a lasting impact.
    So when we are surrounded by this faith that sustains us, when we are deeply rooted in our faith, deeply rooted in our relationship with God - our faith reflects into the parts of our lives that everyone can see. Now I’m not promising that God is going to make your life easy, or make your business profitable, or solve all your problems - because that’s not how this works. What I’m saying is that as we spend time enriching our faith, that will impact our lives. It will change your attitudes, it will change how you see the world - instead of random events you will start to recognize God working around you, it will change how you see people - instead of just people you will start to see people for whom Christ died, it will change how you act - instead of doing what you want you will start to follow God’s will for your life. The more our roots are in the right place, the more deeply rooted in faith we become, the more it will impact how the rest of our lives look to the outside world.
    Edgewater is deeply rooted in faith - a faith that sustains us, a faith that we strive to feed and grow, a faith that shapes the entirety of our lives. Amen.
    Now may the peace of God that comes from being rooted in faith keep your hearts and your minds in Christ, now and forever. Amen.
  • How Great Is Our God
  • Bless the Lord

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