From the Pastor's Pen


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A Message from Pastor David Williamson


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September:  Pastor's Message


        September 16th is known as National Back to Church Sunday.  It's an event created in 2009 by a company called Outreach to encourage unchurched and formerly active members to return to church, and to encourage folks like you and me to invite them and make them feel welcome in the family of God.

 

          I have a bulletin from when I was baptized as an infant on September tenth, 1961.  That Sunday was known as Homecoming Sunday.  I saw a reference to that in Hawker Church's history, too.  National Back to Church Sunday is a new name, but it's not a new idea.

 

          Why do we need it?  Because it's easy to get out of the habit of participating in the life of Christ's church. Some folks get busy, perhaps with summer vacations or sports.  Some folks get lazy.  Some folks get angry because others don't act very Christian, but then they act equally unChristian by not forgiving the ones who offend them.  Some folks get discouraged because God answers prayers in ways that don't live up to their expectations.  And then there are people who claim they can worship God better in the great outdoors, on a hike or at the beach or on the golf course - they're never happy when the pastor replies, "Yes...but do you worship God when you're in those places?"

 

          Since the dawn of creation, God has tried to instill in you and me the holy habit of observing a Sabbath (Genesis 2:3), a day for worship and rest (Exodus 20:8-11).  Jesus reminds us, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath" (Mark 2:27).

 

          Years later, our God taught us to develop the holy habit of forgoing revenge (Genesis 4:15), and be our brothers' and sisters' keeper instead.  "Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself" (Leviticus 19:18).  Jesus, in fact, raises the bar when He says, "As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13:34).

 

          And God has urged us to practice the holy habit of giving generously.  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house.  Test Me in this," says the Lord Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it" (Malachi 3:10).  That is not a fundraising ploy!  It's a revelation of how things work in the Kingdom of God.  Jesus taught us, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35).


          
        Holy habits reveal the Kingdom of God right here, right now.  Let go of bad habits and embrace God's way, God's truth, and God's life in you today.

 

          Looking forward to seeing you in church soon.  Be sure to invite your family and friends to join you.

          

 

Yours in Christ, 

~~~Pastor David Williamson

 

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