Hello again dear friends,
Happy second quarter! I am writing this on the third day of Christmas, and in the past couple of weeks, I have made the decision to extend our “The Dawn from On High” sermon series a few more weeks. Since the next time Christmas “would” fall on a Sunday is a “leap year”, we won’t see Christmas fall on the Lord’s Day again for eleven years. This unique timing allows us another Sunday before Epiphany, and then we will appropriately honor the “magi” on Sunday, January 08.
Over the past nine months, I have found my preaching rhythm. It is a great joy to get to preach each week, and it’s a labor I certainly love. It has forced me to be more dependent upon the Holy Spirit, and it has caused me to pay attention a bit more carefully to His leading. As you know, November 27 began our advent series with a look at Zechariah and Elizabeth, the word they received from the Lord, and the birth of their son John. In discovering some insights about John’s birth and the prophecies surrounding him, I want us to take a look at his ministry in the weeks ahead. So, once we complete our look at Jesus the boy, we are going to pivot our attention back to John. I am excited about God leading me in this direction, and I can’t wait to see and hear what He would have for us as a church to see and hear.
In that frame, I hope God has blessed your heart as He has blessed mine within recent weeks. My only “angle” on the Christmas narrative passages this year was one of fidelity to scripture. I hope that we have looked and listened, and that perhaps God showed us something this year that we’d missed in years past. Like Mary, I hope we are all treasuring these things up in our hearts, pondering and meditating upon them. May we never tire of hearing of God’s grace. May we never grow stale to contemplating our own sin’s breadth and depth, and how undeserving we are of the Father sending – giving – the Son to save us from it.
I am saddened to consider the fact that Maxwell will be leaving our church in just a few short days. In only six months’ time, he has left a great impact. He has been a breath of fresh air in our music ministry, and his kindness has been felt by many of your families. He will be greatly missed, and we thank God that he came to us when he did. I know I write for us all when I wish him nothing but success as he continues his divinity school studies. I pray that God continues to give Max clarity as He calls him to a life’s ministry, vocational or otherwise.
As sad as I am to see our friend leave, I am reminded that our worship has never been about Max. May God have mercy if I ever think our worship is about me! It isn’t, hasn’t been, nor never should be about a preacher, or a singer, or a Choir, or anyone on staff. The worship of First Baptist Church is about, and only about, King Jesus. We worship Him because of who He is. We worship Him because of what He has done. We worship Him in spirit and in truth, according to God’s Word. He alone is worthy (Revelation 4)! I don’t know how the quantity or quality of our music will be impacted on Sundays in the weeks ahead. I know that our Choir will continue to lead us well. I know that Ms. Leigh will continue to serve faithfully. I know that whether singing or preaching or reading or praying or shaking hands and giving hugs to one another, we will continue to work hard to make sure that Jesus remains the focus of our worship!
Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
close by me forever and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
and fit us for heaven to live with Thee there!
Rev. Andrew J. Reynolds