Whose anniversary are we celebrating? Why, ours, of course! That’s right, 6 years ago this coming Sunday I was installed as minister of Christ Church. It is hard to believe that 6 yrs have elapsed. Since we have been here we have had 4 kids graduate from high school. We have fostered about a dozen kids and the Lord has added Moses to our family. We have been in your homes, you have been in ours. We have seen God work in our church community; in exciting ways and in ways that have stretched us. We have met each other on mountaintops and in valleys. We have been the source of one another’s delight and we have been the occasion of each other’s discouragement. These are the realities of life together. By God’s grace we will have many more years to search out the scriptures for the deep things of grace and have the opportunity to practice them together in our community.
While these occasions do not always call for outward celebration or even recognition, I do try to use them as an opportunity for reflection. Right now the thing I feel the most weight of is the calling to serve God’s people. I have been an ordained minister for over 20 years now and I can honestly say I have never experienced a season like this one. The disruption and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic and the various responses to it, the divisions that exists politically in our country AND in our churches over proper response to cultural issues, the pain being expressed as these divided groups hurt one another, the frailty and fallenness on display amongst my fellow brothers in the ministry; each of these points to a desperate need for divine intervention. With Isaiah I say “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips” (Is. 6:5). With Paul I cry out, “Who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Cor. 2:16)
But here is the hope, “thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere” (2 Cor. 2:14). We look at our selves and we see feet of clay and hearts of wax. But, when we keep our eyes on Jesus, our covenant making and covenant keeping Lord, there is always hope. Remember, the light has shone in the darkness and the darkness shall not overcome it (John 1:5)! It is this Light that guides us. It is this Light that sustains and shines through us. So let us together keep seeking the Light. Let us keep short accounts with one another that we may be long on grace. And may it be that God would spread through us the fragrance of the Gospel.