We are a gathering of believers in Jesus Christ ignited by the Holy Spirit to be ministers and missionaries. Individually, we are candles. Together, God is transforming us into a torch that enlightens the world to
From the Pastor’s Heart….
A few minutes ago, I was admiring the STACK of beautiful, funny and unique birthday cards I received for my birthday last week. I’m always humbled and awed and so thankful for friendships, near and far and for family members who make a point to send a card in a world of electronic relationships. It’s so easy to shoot someone a text on their birthday or send Facebook post greetings. It’s so easy to email someone, but many people took the time and sent a card in the mail. Wow. For all birthday greetings, no matter the type, I’m so very thankful.
My birthday always comes just before Thanksgiving so perhaps that makes me more reflective. But as Christian believers, aren’t we called to live as people of thanksgiving, all year round? Paul says in Phil 4: 4-9:
4 Rejoice[a] in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.[b] 5 Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. 6 Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, beloved,[c] whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about[d] these things. 9 Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.
I’m sure you know this, but just in case – as the apostle Paul wrote these words he was sitting in a prison cell, most likely awaiting an unpleasant execution. How can a man sit in a prison cell and encourage others to rejoice? He knew that God was with him, no matter what.
Friends as we make difficult decisions this week to travel and see family or to remain home in the middle of this pandemic, remember these words of scripture and picture in your mind this man sitting in prison cell. If he can proclaim, “do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”, perhaps we can draw strength from him in these strange days.
As you commemorate Thanksgiving this year in whatever way you must, my prayer for you is to remember that, “the God of peace will be with you.” No matter where you are. No matter who is with you. For a God of such powerful presence and love, I say thanks be to God!
PS – Don’t miss the new sermon series we’re starting on December 6th: A Christmas Carol, based on the Charles Dickens’ classic of the same name.