Have I told you lately that I love you all and feel incredibly blessed to be allowed to serve you as one of our pastors and to be given the privilege of opening God's word with you each week? Sometimes I cannot fathom how kind God has been to us...and continues to be day after day. No, of course we aren't perfect -- that's why we need the Gospel! But I was just thinking about it after we'd taken the Lord's Supper together Sunday. We draw near because we are poor and needy. We have sinned and fallen short. We have failed to love as we ought to have loved. Our faith is weak and pitiful. But oh! He is merciful! And He receives us freely on the basis of His finished work on the cross. Therefore we can draw near -- not only to Him (joy of all joys!) but also through Him to one another! And there we find that we are loved, and forgiven and accepted and made one family in Christ! Wonder of wonders!
19 Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, 21 and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; 24 and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, 25 not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.
Soli Deo Gloria