by Roger Thomas

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Fresh Vision, Fresh Faith (1 of 5)
Series: Anniversary Celebration of Faith
Roger Thomas
Mark 2:13-22

Introduction: These last two verses may sound like advice from Martha Stewart or some HGTV secrets from the kitchen show. Not so! Jesus, of course, wasn't talking about patches and wineskins. Those were simply illustrations. His critics didn't like the fact that he hung out with the wrong people and didn't always do things the way they did. In response he insisted that his passion was to proclaim a gospel of grace and hope, not their message of fear and doom.

New times call for new ways of doing things, he was telling them. Jesus was calling for spiritual flexibility. Fresh vision and fresh faith require fresh wineskins.

For some time now I have been reading and researching our congregation's history. I have been trying to get up to speed as we move toward our big anniversary celebration two months from now. As I have read the accounts of the early days, I have been impressed with what I have found. The faith and determination of those early pioneers more than once made me think of these words of Jesus. Those who started this church had faith and vision. They also had the flexibility to look for new wineskins when that was what the faith called for.

I want to share some of that history today. In reality this is not about history. It is very much about the future. I am convinced that our generation needs a dose of the faith and convictions that marked the generations that have gone before us. Those pioneers left some big shoes to fill and some powerful examples to follow.

When this church was born Vandalia was young. Only a half a dozen years before our forefathers launched First Christian, Colonel McPike and friends bent the path of the railroad, tamed the prairie, and built a town in the middle of nowhere. Times were different then. The average life expectancy in the US was less than 50. A factory worker made about $0.20 pe ...

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