Give Thanks to God in All Things

November 10, 2021

Leadership Notes


This past Sunday, November 7, we marked our approach to the communion table with these words of affirmation:


Christ drank the cup of God's wrath, that we might drink the streams of living water.


- Chance Faulkner

117 people were in worship this past Sunday. While we're not quite where we were pre-pandemic, we are slowly building back. Along the way, we've embraced a new way of doing choir, which has enhanced the worshipfulness of our singing. We've also started Tecumseh Cove Kids, where younger children are invited to a separate time of singing and Bible story and other God-focused, Christ-honoring activities, while I'm preaching. Some kids go, some stay, which is the way it's supposed to be. Parent's and kid's choice!


We will continue to simulcast our Sunday morning worship through a couple of different platforms, as well as making it available for delayed viewing. We could not be happier that people are staying connected to Covenant Church that way. A sad reality to all this is that, as studies have shown, there are some who will never return to in-person worship. I

believe that will be true of our church as well. It is something that weighs on my heart, especially as I am more concerned about people's walk with Jesus Christ than I am about worship numbers. If not Covenant Church {either in-person or online}, I hope people will connect with a community of believers somewhere.


Speaking of things weighing on my heart, is anyone else concerned about the push to get children under 11 vaccinated against covid-19? Please don't misunderstand, I'm not talking about medically vulnerable children who present one or more co-morbidities. Do you remember a time when Big Bird or any other Sesame Street Muppet was used to encourage a flu vaccine? If I remember correctly, the regular seasonal flu is more threatening to children than the coronavirus. I suppose parents will have to weigh the risks…covid-19 or a medical treatment with unknown long-term issues.


We are walking a line between covid-drama, vaccine/mask mandates, and denying that any risk exists. Where are you in all this? As for me and my household, we are careful, cautious, and unafraid.


Jesus talked a lot about fear. I believe there will always be authoritarians who will use fear to control others to get what they think they need or want. Being resolute in our faith, knowing that no matter what we experience or go through in life, when we are in Christ, all is well, and that God calls us to make responsible choices about life and health, we have emerged from this pandemic stronger, wiser, and still unafraid. Many have lost loved ones, for whom they still mourn deeply. We will not forget them. As the Bible says, we mourn with those who mourn, rejoice with those who rejoice, and give God thanks in all things. Soli Deo Gloria.


I saw a graphic tee for sale on a website that simply said:


MAKE "1984" FICTION AGAIN


Speaking of George Orwell, it's funny seeing those pushing mask mandates ignoring, or selectively embracing, the rules they set for others. Reminds me of, "All Animals Are Equal But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others." Can I get an "Amen" from the irony gallery?


Not one to rush past Thanksgiving, but Ben Nichols {Director of Worship Arts} and I are working on our Advent worship schedule. Its theme is quite simple, centered on the five candles of the Advent lights:


{1} HOPE {2} PEACE {3} JOY {4} LOVE {5} CHRIST


Expect more music/singing at these services. It is a beautiful thing to worship together in December.


Dane Ortlund, pastor of Naperville Presbyterian Church {Presbyterian Church in America} observes, "On that day when we stand before him, quietly, unhurriedly, we will weep with relief, shocked at how impoverished a view of his mercy-rich heart we had." Or this from D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, "We must never look at any sin in our past life in any way except that which leads us to praise God and to magnify His grace in Christ Jesus." These are both good thoughts to ponder in preparing ourselves for Advent!


And now, your Moment of Spurgeon:


WHATEVER GOD HAS ORDAINED MUST BE GOOD, AND JUST, AND

EXCELLENT. THERE ARE NO ANOMALIES IN GOD'S UNIVERSE,

EXCEPT WHAT SIN HAS MADE; HIS WORD OF COMMAND MADE

ALL THINGS GOOD.


With Much Love and Affection,


Richard

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