From the Pastor's Pen



Pastor W

January:  Pastor's Message

        The new year has arrived - 2020.  And to quote the opening of the book of Revelation. "Grace and peace to you from Him who is, and who was ,and who is to come..."

          That's not the usual order we think of, is it?  We think in terms of a linear order: past, present, and future.  Indeed, in A Christmas Carol, the spirits who visit Ebenezer Scrooge (after Jacob Marley) are the Ghost of Christmas Past, and Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

            Indeed, Luke’s Christmas story (chapter 2) begins with “In those days” and then says “Mary gave birth,” followed by “There were shepherds living.” But the angels – the messengers from God – speak in the present tense. “I bring you good news of great joy” and “He is Christ the Lord.”


     And because God is in the present – recall that Jesus is also known as Immanuel: God with us (Matthew 1:23) – we are not abandoned and we are not alone. That’s Jesus’ final blessing to His disciples of every time and place: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). You and I need not fear today or tomorrow because God is not watching us from a distance. He is with us in good times and bad, loving us, blessing us, showing us the way to life abundant and life eternal.


     Now of course, God is also Lord of the past. “Grace and peace to you from Him who is, and who was …” That’s why He can forgive us. He can heal the wounds of long ago. Recall that when “Doubting” Thomas encounters the risen Jesus for the first time, He still has wounds (John 20:27). They had been healed, but the scars were still there. Even the wounds of crucifixion were resurrected and healed. I read a devotion recently that said we don’t need to forgive ourselves – we need to stop doubting that God, the Lord of the past, has forgiven us. Great advice!


   And God is Lord of the future as well. The apostle Paul writes, “I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved if you hold firmly to the Word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain” (1st Corinthians 15:1-2).


     Our salvation isn’t an event – it’s a process that began at the beginning of time, and is happening right now, and will happen in all the days to come.


     There’s a hymn that’s very popular in England to sing at this time of year: “God is working His purpose out as year succeeds to year. God is working His purpose out, and the time is drawing near; nearer and nearer draws the time the time that shall surely be, when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.


     “March we forth in the strength of God, with the banner of Christ unfurled, that the light of the glorious gospel of truth may shine throughout the world. Fight we the fight with sorrow and sin, to set their captives free, that the earth may be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea.”


     Keep your eyes on Jesus and look forward to the year ahead, knowing that God is with us!


     Hope to see you in church soon. Please bring a few neighbors and friends with you.



                                                         Yours in Christ,

                                                           Pastor David J. Williamson      












































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