Reflections – 2017.01

A New Year and the Same God

A new year and a new era.  And a great beginning.  From receiving Mark into membership to being in a sanctuary full of people singing to the glory of God to having the privilege of preaching in a place where the Word has been set before people for nearly 200 years, I couldn’t have been happier.  It was a joyful time together.

A new year and new work to do.  There is much for us to consider now that we have acquired a new home.  There are specific questions about parking and pews and building maintenance.  And there are broader questions – What is the best use for the different rooms in the facility?  What kinds of ministries will we be involved with?  How can we best reach out to the community of Darlington as well as the nearby communities in which many of us live? And of course these are questions that require all of us to be thinking and praying …

A new year and new challenges.  It is easy when we think of church now to go right to the new facility.  But a new year will bring new challenges – financial and job strains, personal wrestlings with sin, relational difficulties that will require patience and forgiveness, surgeries and sickness, births, weddings, deaths … all of these we can expect to see in the year ahead.

A new year and the same God.  And this of course is where the comfort lies.  Our Lord does not change and He is committed to us.  As you begin the new year, let me encourage you with some words from the Heidelberg Catechism, written well before our current facility was even built, by Christians who faced new eras, new work and new challenges, even as we do.

“My only comfort in life and in death is that I am not my own, but belong – body and soul, in life and in death – to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.  He has fully paid for all my sins with his precious blood, and has set me free from the tyranny of the devil.  He also watches over me in such a way that not a hair can fall from my head without the will of my Father in heaven: in fact, all things must work together for my salvation.  Because I belong to him, Christ, by his Holy Spirit, assures me of eternal life and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him.”

Let’s continue to love one another as we live for Christ in the years ahead.