A lot of fanfare has been in the news leading up to this year, and now – we are here. Do you feel different? Does the world look different? Are you doing anything different? How about those New Year’s Resolutions? How are they going? Thankfully our God is the same, loves us the same, and His Grace and Mercy is the same towards us and to others regardless of our emotions or our actions. His willingness to do for you and to provide for you is evidenced in His redeeming work for you that we remember again during the season of Lent which will begin on Ash Wednesday, February 26th. “Return to Me” says the Lord. All is forgiven… Trust in Me… Have Faith in Me… Find rest in Me…
What Love, What comfort, What Grace is showered upon us! God’s Peace is there to reign over us. Our Worship life is a response to how God has blessed us with His love. Nothing we do in Worship can make God love us any more than He does already. It does please Him and brings Him joy when we do worship Him, Praise Him, Glorify Him and Trust Him. This we can do anywhere and anytime, yet there is something about when His saints gather together. It is the Unity of the Spirit, the bond of Fellowship in His name, the mutual conversation and consolation of the brethren that is God’s gift for us and each other. The church is how God serves man through other men.
In recent days and in days to come, our worship space has been disrupted for improvements and refurbishments of our worship space. Our patterns and habits and our traditions have been altered for a time as a result of transition. Even our music will be different for a time as we move instruments and microphones, and seek new accompaniment for our traditional services. None of this changes that which is true worship of our God. So, we adapt. We make changes, and we adjust patterns and behaviors. Yes, we make sacrifices. But what sacrifice compared to the sacrifice of God? How did He change His patterns and traditions when He left the throne of heaven and became man and lived our humanity and endured our lives? Never mind the brutality of rejection, persecution, torture and crucifixion. Yet He rose again.
We will find a new normal. Our worship patterns will fall back in place; perhaps as before or perchance somewhat anew. We will focus on the work of God that He has done through Mount Olive in Shelton for 93 years, and we will focus once again on that mission and purpose as we celebrate our upcoming 100th anniversary. It is the mission to proclaim Christ and Him crucified for our sins and the sins of ALL mankind that we rededicate ourselves to.
So regardless of how our space and our traditions are affected, our true worship and our God-given purpose is constant and ever before us, just as God’s peace, hope and joy for us and in us is constant.
Return to the Lord with all your heart and love Him with your whole being, for He has loved you beyond human understanding. That is truly Peace on Earth.
God’s Blessings and Peace, Pastor Baker