Highrock MetroWest News
| August 17, 2023
We continue our summer newsletter articles and art from Highrock MetroWest students. Averie Lee is our newsletter intern for the summer and asked various students to submit pieces. If any other youth would like to submit an article or work of art, please reach out to Pastor George at GeorceC@Highrock.org.
Today’s article is from rising high school senior Corban Shih. Corban attends the Noble and Greenough School in Dedham, and his hobbies/interests include golf, speech, and debate, He is also an avid collector of vinyl records.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Though it comes from Proverbs 27:17, this phrase has become an adage often separated from its biblical context. The analogy is understood to convey a message about the influence that relationships and interactions between people can have on each other’s character. Just as iron becomes sharper through friction and interaction with another piece of iron, individuals can become better versions of themselves through interactions and relationships with others. These interactions can involve sharing knowledge, providing support, offering constructive criticism, and encouraging personal development.
But what significance does this verse hold for followers of Jesus? Hebrews 4:12 likens the word of God to a “double-edged sword,” underscoring its ability to penetrate deeply, discern our thoughts and intentions, and bring about transformation. As believers, we can see the parallel between the sharpening of iron and the transformative power of the Word of God. Just as iron is refined through contact with another substance, we are refined and transformed through our encounters with the Word and with fellow believers.
In my personal experience, growing up in a Christian home and within a close-knit fellowship made it natural for me to internalize the values that surrounded me. However, embracing the belief systems of others can sometimes feel more like being forcibly shaped by another blade, rather than undergoing the delicate process of sharpening. My own process of refinement, though still ongoing, has involved immersing myself in a wide array of traditions, leading to the gradual development of my distinct perspective. Through attending a Catholic elementary school, I honed my foundational understanding of a relationship with God by memorizing the Catechism and creeds. Concurrently, while being part of a Presbyterian Church, I cultivated a personal preference for the structure of congregational worship and the broader Church community.
During my current chapter of life at Highrock, I find that the core of my belief system has remained relatively stable. This could be attributed to the inclusive theological and social environment fostered by Highrock, or perhaps because my ideology has already taken shape to a significant extent. Regardless of the approach, I believe that one of Highrock’s notable strengths lies in its continuous integration of theological concepts from diverse sources and historical periods. By embracing contemporary or unfamiliar interpretations of the Scriptures (eg. the First Nations Version translation), Highrock has the ability to present biblical teachings in a manner that resonates more effectively with the lives of 21st-century Christians, thereby contributing to the growth of the Church.
Sharpening of iron is a lengthy and arduous process, and not every piece of iron is an effective sharpening agent. From a logical standpoint, it’s expected that not all ideologies will resonate. Therefore, as a believer, the primary means of refining our ideological stance is to engage with a variety of fresh interpretations of the Word. We must then reflect on, and grapple with, each of these interpretations until one eventually resonates and becomes ingrained within us. — Corban Shih
Join us for an important meeting about Highrock’s finances, via Zoom. All Highrockers, including members and visitors, are encouraged to attend at 7:30pm ET on Wednesday, August 23. Use the blue button to join the Zoom meeting at start time.
Please consider joining the Becca Schmill Foundation (BSF) on August 31 at 6:30pm at Memorial Park in Needham for a vigil in observance of International Overdose Awareness Day. More info at the foundation website. Emceed by Pastor Ryan.
As you can see, Highrock has moved to a new website (highrock.org) along with a new newsletter format. August will be the month to figure out the bugs and how to best operate the site. Please be patient with us as we learn how to edit the site. This newsletter is the best source of MetroWest information for now, but in the next week, the whole MetroWest congregation webpage will be edited and updated. Thank you.
Let your church know how to improve worship and ministry to draw people into a deeper life with Jesus.
Watch this area for past newsletters starting with the Aug. 17, 2023 edition.