Looking Forward; Looking Back
I recently got a new tattoo; the Latin phrase – Post Tenebras Lux. It is a phrase that the second generation of Reformers used as their unofficial slogan as the Reformation moved from its initiators (Luther, Zwingli, Melancthon, etc.) into its next generation. In English the phrase reads - “After Darkness Light.” These Reformers had confidence that God would bring light out of darkness if only they were faithful to God’s word and to the call that God had place upon them to bring the light of God's word to a Europe that was held in the darkness of Catholic dogma.
Now why would I get those words forever emblazoned on my forearm? Well, in short, it's because of all those who are a part of Covenant Reformed Church. After my last experience in pastoral ministry I was very hesitant, in fact adamant, to never pastor again. Yet, due to many factors, here I am... and what a blessing it has been! CRC has been the light after my darkness and I, and my family, thank you greatly. What an amazing church we have! I am so privileged to work among all of you and I am excited for what God has done among us and where he will take us, not only in 2018, but beyond as well.
As we look back on the year that was there are so many things that I could identify to show God's faithfulness, so many ways in which I have seen God work in the lives of the people in our church. Obviously to list what God has done among each of us in the church would involve a very long evening of testimonies, but let me highlight some of the big picture stuff. Here is where we have come in 2017:
we have hired a full-time Pastor
we have moved to a new location - our second move in under two years - due to numerical growth
we have consistently met our budget
we have started a building fund - we currently have 10% of our down payment for a lot!
we have added a third music team
we have welcomed many new members
we have a Mom's Morning Out get together for our young Moms
we have a Youth Group
Praise the Lord!!! But guess what? I think 2018 will be even better! We desire that God steers us and moves us according to his desire, so many of these things may change, but here are a few of the things that we are anticipating for the New Year:
actually purchasing the lot for our church building
starting Christian Education on Sunday mornings for children and adults
adding church leaders such as elders and deacons
a Youth Retreat planned for April
sermon series on Jonah; Outreach and Discipleship and the Life of David
The best part of planning all of these things, is that God will do with us as he pleases and his guidance will make even our best laid plans, even better for our eternal benefit. What an amazing God we serve! A God who has brought, and continues to bring, light out of darkness.
Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name. Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria,