I have spent the past two weeks doing something I absolutely love to do: preparing a new Bible study entitled “Connecting the Dots: Tracing God’s Love and Mercy through the Bible.” After over fifty years of studying the Bible, both academically and devotionally, I know of no other book or set of books that have had such a profound effect upon the human race. Sadly, the Bible sets the record for being the most popular book purchased but not read. I have spent my ministry trying to make a dent in that sad fact, and I have certainly enjoyed doing that with many of you through the years. The Bible is essentially the record of God’s encounter with humanity, which is a story akin to the joys and frustration of parents trying to rear their children and keep them healthy, wise, and happy even though they have a will of their own that is not always in their best interests.
One of our favorite Bible verses in seminary was from the Book of Ecclesiastes, “of the making of many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” As we burned the midnight oil reading many books in order to pass our courses, we found great comfort in this passage. In one sense, one could spend a life time studying the Bible and continue to come up with new insights. In another, the way of life the Bible teaches is quite simple and can be learned in a short period of time. When a lawyer asked Jesus to sum up all of God’s commandments by naming the most important, being a good rabbi, Jesus gave two instead of one: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind … and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these commandments depend the all the law and prophets.”
The Apostle Paul wrote that “the whole law is fulfilled in one word, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” He also said “faith, hope, and love abide, but the greatest of these is love.” Surely this is why James wrote that faith without works is dead, because genuine faith always leads to love, and love always leads to action. If we truly have the love of God in our hearts we cannot help but share it with others, to pass it on – or as we like to say nowadays, to pay it forward.
We are in the middle of stewardship season right now, so I hope you are counting your many blessings and taking a deep dive into your heart to see how grateful you are for God’s grace and love. One of the things God has taught me through the years is that generosity is one of the great joys of life. The material pleasures of life are important and necessary, but they are fleeting. The things that bring lasting gratification are the things we give to others. All grandparents and parents know the ecstasy of seeing the look of joy on their grandchildren’s and children’s faces when we give them gifts of love. This is priceless.
So, I want to thank all of you for your faithful generosity to our church, especially during the hardship of the pandemic. Some of you might not be able to continue giving at the same level, and we understand that. But I pray that, if able, most of you will continue generously supporting our ministry and mission as you have in the past. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift of Jesus Christ! “See” you online for worship on Sunday.
Please know that Trinity's elders, deacons, and staff are praying for you, your loved ones, and your friends as we follow state guidelines to restrict the spread of Covid-19. If you should have a care concern or celebration you'd like to share, please email David or the church office.
Lillie Pearce’s daughter, Karen Loveland, met with the doctor recently and learned she has stage 4 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She will begin an aggressive course of chemotherapy as soon as possible, lasting almost 7 months. This is a slow growing form of lymphoma, which is not curable, but it is treatable. So, please pray for a successful treatment and that God’s healing hand will be upon her. Also, please pray for comfort and strength for Karen and her family as they begin this challenging journey. May God be with them every step of the way!
Please keep David Gardner, who recently joined Trinity, in your prayers. He underwent two surgeries for his back this week. David and his wife Joyce hope he'll be back home this Friday, October 16th. As you can imagine, David will also be working hard in physical therapy, when his body has healed. May God’s healing hand be upon David, and we pray his surgeries give him a successful result, with a full and swift recovery!
Please join us in prayer for Rachel Martin's family. Rachel, a Trinity member who belonged to Milner Memorial, passed away on October 6th.
As we continue to pay the church's unchanging monthly obligations, we remain sincerely grateful for your giving. Louise Taff, our Receiving Treasurer, is checking the mail frequently each week, making the deposits for the church. If you have questions about your giving, please email Louise.
We recognize that for many people this is an uncertain time, and know that you may not have the income you had before the pandemic. If you find yourself in a difficult position and would like to request financial assistance from the church, please write a confidential email to David.