Leaning Forward While Honoring The Past

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[God says] see, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? Isaiah 43:19a NIV

Our culture places a high value on “new things.” Advertisers have conditioned us to desire the latest new toy rather than sticking with what we already have. Our 40-inch TV is surely inferior to a new 72-inch 4K OLED flat screen with smart internet access. The camera on the latest smartphone is a “must have” replacement to my current trusty phone and wearing the latest fashion statement guarantees we can join the “in crowd.”

In our rush, we often miss the wisdom and technology embodied in old things. Take, for instance, the “Big Boy” locomotive that is coming to Houston later this week. Built in 1941, Big Boy 4014 is arguably the largest steam-driven locomotive ever built, and was designed to carry passengers and freight over the rugged mountains of the western U.S. At 133 feet in length, it is longer than two city buses and weighs more than a Boeing 747. It was the epitome of “high tech” in 1941 and remained in service for almost 20 years.

But the world changed, the Big Boy’s advantages morphed into disadvantages, and the railroads responded. Diesel-electric locomotives were much more efficient that steam engines, and automation allowed them to be operated safely with far fewer personnel. The railroads still transported passengers and cargo; they just did so in a different fashion.

I’m sure you get where I’m going; as we celebrate Trinity’s 140th anniversary, we have so much to be proud of. The Word and Sacrament has been faithfully administered, and through them God has transformed lives. We give glory to God for all that He has done in our midst, and we honor the hard work of His saints.

Of course, our job is not finished. God is always doing something fresh in our hearts, and there are new generations that He wants to incorporate into His church. We want our children and grandchildren to partake of the same blessings we’ve experienced, and we want our great-grandchildren to celebrate Trinity’s 200th anniversary. So just like the railroads delivered the same product in a different way, we too must be open to proclaiming the unchanging Gospel in a way that is effective today. Don’t get me wrong; the Gospel truth remains unchanged. But we must follow the Holy Spirit’s guidance to find ways to announce the Good News in new ways so that it can be understood by today’s hearers.

Join us in celebrating Trinity’s 140th anniversary this weekend. We are honored that the President of our Texas District, Pastor Michael Newman, will be delivering the sermon at both Sunday morning services. You can join us in the gym at 9:30 am for a “Trinity Trivia” event, the Ladies Circle will be conducting their annual bazaar, and we’ll have a photo booth set up so you can add your picture to our online directory. Your kids won’t want to miss our “Kingdom Quest” pre-school and student gatherings, and you’ll enjoy making new friends and learning more about your faith in our expanded array of adult bible study classes, all held at 9:30 am on Sunday. Best of all, we’ll serve cake balls and punch after the last service on Sunday.

This weekend, come be reminded of all that God has done and be challenged with the task that is ahead.

And if you’re interested, the Big Boy locomotive arrives in Houston at 7:00 pm on Wednesday evening at 7:00 pm at the downtown Amtrak station, and will be on display all day Thursday. If you’re interested in seeing this technological marvel, you can park at Trinity and walk over to the Amtrak station a few yards east on Washington Avenue.

This weekend come learn how placing our faith and fears in the hands of Jesus can lessen our stress load and bring deep transformation in our hearts. Celebrate with us the depth of Jesus’ love for us and find out how you can live a life of significance, filled with meaning.  Discover how following Jesus can help you and your family navigate around the minefields of life.

Come get a fresh jolt of spiritual energy at Trinity Downtown. It will make a tremendous difference in your life.

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