The New Year is a time of reflection and anticipation. 2009 was a challenging year for our church. We had our trials and sorrows but we also had much joy and delight, in large measure because of you. The elders thank God for you, and we also thank you.
A Broader View of the New Year
A linier view of history is a Christian view—we are going from something to something. As we come to this milestone on the calendar that we call New Years' Eve, it's the perfect time for us to both reflect on the past and to anticipate the future. The Kingdom of God is progressing—it's growing. Millions have gone before us; perhaps millions will come after us. We are part of the stream of Christian, or redemptive history.
Diversity and Complexity in the Church
If we could visit churches throughout history in their various geographic locations and cultural contexts we would find that, on the one hand, we were uncomfortable with the oddities that surrounded us—the people, the buildings, the music, and the worship. On the other hand, we would also be struck by the incredible unity—a thread of commonality found among all the people of God, in all times and in all places—a sort of conspiracy. We would find much we disagreed with, much we agreed with, and much we simply didn't understand. The same would be true if we visited other Christian churches in our own community. This is not to say that our differences are unimportant, nor do I wish to suggest that we should ignore these differences. I am simply asserting that Christendom is incredibly diverse and complex. Moreover, individual Christians are diverse and complex. Yet, we must confess, that in spite the incredible diversity and complexity, the Church of Jesus Christ has been directed by Him to accomplish all His holy will throughout the ages.
Grace Covenant Church of Nacogdoches, Texas is a tiny part of the ocean of God's kingdom that covers the earth as the waters cover the sea. We must remember that we are part of God's covenant people, and therefore, we are an important part of His Kingdom. Nevertheless, we must also be humbled by the fact that we but a tiny part of that Kingdom. Just as it is personally essential to be individually humble and to be servants of all, so too, as a church, we must likewise be humble servants of all. Right doctrine must be adorned with righteous living—this makes the gospel attractive.
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith. ―Galatians 6:9-10
This is not easy work, but it is essential work. Individually and corporately we have been blessed by God. Let us be careful to remember where our blessings come form. Let us be careful to share those blessings with others.