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Love the Lord

What a day, glorious day that will be…

I love old gospel songs. I really do. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love newer music, too. In fact ,there’s not much Christian music that I don’t like, but I really love old gospel songs. One of my favorites has always been What a Day That Will Be. The chorus goes like this:

What a day that will be

when my Jesus I shall see

When I look upon His face

the one who saved my by His grace

When He takes me by the hand

and leads me to the promised land

What a day, glorious day that will be.

I’m looking forward to seeing our Lord face-to-face. It’s something I certainly hope that all Christians are looking forward to. Between now and then, we have a lot of living left to do here on this earth—Lord willing! And here’s what I hope and pray for all of us between now and the time we get to see Jesus. I hope and pray that our days here on earth will be spent in loving and serving our Lord and others.

When they asked Jesus what the most important commandment was, he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31). In saying this, Jesus forever linked love of God with love of neighbor, such that the greatest commandment has two parts: love God, and love other people. The Apostle John picked up on this and wrote: “He has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister” (1 John 4:21). The Apostle Paul, likewise, understood the connection between loving God and loving people.

When he wrote to the churches in Galatia about the proper use of their freedom in Christ, he said this: “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Galatians 5:13-14). Given the primacy of the command to love, this is my sincere hope: that we not only long for heaven but that we also spend our time on earth, however long that may be, loving and serving God and others.

Now, let me tell you about another glorious day I’m looking forward to. I’m looking forward to the time when I get to see all of you every Sunday in person for worship. These have been the hardest six months of ministry I’ve ever done. Either I missed the course in seminary about how to pastor during a pandemic, or they didn’t teach it! There’s no way any of us could have foreseen this, and there’s no playbook for it. So, I’m grateful for the technology that we have to be able to worship online, and I’m beyond grateful for the patience and understanding that you all have shown us as we’ve tried to figure out the best way to “do” church and “be” church during this time. You’ve been so kind and gracious, and I speak for the entire church staff when I say, “Thank you.”

The deacon body will meeting this Sunday (August 30), and one of the things we’re going to discuss is how and when to go ahead and resume weekly, in-person worship. We all hope it’s soon, and, barring a major spike in active cases here in the community, I believe it will be. Until then, know that I love you all, and remember… God is still Sovereign, Jesus is still Lord, and this too shall pass!

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