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Thursday, September 27, 2018

Pastoral Letter from the 2018.09.27 Hopewell Herald


Beloved,

Have you ever felt taken for granted? It may be helpful to us to be on the receiving end, so that we might marvel at the Lord’s patience with and forgiveness of us. After all, we continuously take Him for granted for something much greater than “just” His continual physical care and protection.

As we heard [in the morning sermon], all this week long, God the Holy Spirit has been dwelling with us and in us, exerting day-one power to give us light that we might know the glory of God in Christ.

In fact, it has been this way ever since He first gave us spiritual life, that we might be united to Christ through faith.

And, yet, so many of us live with rather little regard for this continuous and glorious work. Worse, sometimes we indulge a way of thinking that if He would just do things that are more scintillating in the moment, that would be a “real” display of the Spirit.

But here He has been. In all faithfulness. In all love. And yes, in all power. Applying to us all of the life and blessing of belonging to God in Christ!

What a faithful friend and divine Servant He has been in attending us. Is it not a glimpse of His divine character that we see in the Redeemer—towel around the waist, and foot-washing bowl at hand?

What may we do to honor the Holy Spirit? We may put away the works of the flesh, as He works in us His fruit. We can, by Him, put to death the deeds of the body. We can call unto God as our abba, and groan forward toward that adoption-day that will be the redemption of our bodies and the revealing of the sons of God. We can relate to one another with kindness, tender-heartedness, and forgiveness rather than grieving Him.

And, most of all, we can behold the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, as we give up our hearts to the beatific vision in this display that God makes of Himself in the gospel: 
We can come to worship and behold God’s glory in Christ in the singing. We can come to worship and behold God’s glory in Christ in the praying. We can come to worship and behold God’s glory in Christ in the reading. We can come to worship and behold God’s glory in Christ in the preaching.

We can come to worship and behold God’s glory in Christ.

Looking forward to doing so with you,

Pastor

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