I’ve been thinking a lot about Christmas lately…duh…who isn’t? But I’ve been thinking in a more specific direction. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Nativity or the birth of Jesus. I’ve been thinking how crazy it sounds that God, the creator of all things, would be born as a baby, to a virgin, in a place like Bethlehem, fully man and fully God. Is it just me or does that sound crazy? I think it does despite it being true.
Let me explain how I got to this point.
The last few months I’ve been struggling with a number of things in my life and how God fits into them. I’ve begun to see Him outside the box He’s neatly resided in (I hate it when God gets out of the box, things then get complicated). As I was reading and considering some of this I read a short prayer that has been with me ever since:
“Lord God, though I don’t understand you I will trust you.”
That has been both liberating and a bit scary. I’m a type-A guy and a leader, trust comes hard I admit. I like to set the tone. When I understand it’s a lot easier. This prayer says trust anyway. We enter into the realm of mystery when we trust without understanding. It’s hard to do but then that’s where God really shows up.
Paul talked about this when he said: “This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus….this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the boundless riches of Christ, and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.” (Eph.3:6-9)
That is what Christmas is about, that is what Christian’s (should) celebrate every December 25th-that in a manger in Bethlehem hundreds of years ago God’s plan to bring salvation to all mankind was enacted. This is the hidden mystery which has been revealed and though hard to understand by default we are called to trust in it and the One who set it in motion.
That’s also where the problem comes for so many, when we move from principle to practice.
Sure we trust God, but do we really TRUST God?? I’m not so sure. When I look at my life and the lives of many around me our actions don’t show that. We pay lip service to it. We sing one thing Sunday and live another on Monday.
As we confront the reality of Christmas and what it means –the Word became flesh (John 1:14), God Himself came as man. The angels proclaimed this message of hope to a group of shepherds minding their own business. We read about this in Luke 2, we recite it, our kids acted it out Sunday in our Christmas pageant but do we UNDERSTAND what happened and do we TRUST the implications of it?
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)
Couldn’t they have just Tweeted it? No, this was more, this was a proclamation. A message that salvation had come for all people, not just a select few, that the old way of trying to work our way into Heaven (which doesn’t work by the way) is done, the Messiah had come!
So what does this mean for us and why is it such a gift? Just this: that even though you may not understand it all, you don’t have to. God’s got it covered, He’s given us the greatest Christmas gift ever: that if we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ we will be saved (Acts 2:21). Have you received the gift? Have you opened it? Do it and watch your life be changed forever.
Merry Christmas from the Timm family and from me. May you experience peace on earth and joy in your world this Christmas and in the year to come.
“Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead.” 2 Timothy 2:8
This past Sunday was Remembrance Day so before we began our regular service we held our own memorial service to remember those who served in the military from GBC and those who continue to serve. I trust it was a fitting ceremony to pay homage to those who served the cause of freedom and died for those unable to help themselves. I always find myself a bit melancholy as I remember, a bit in awe of the sacrifice they made and very, very grateful.
As in the past few years, there was a vocal minority of people this November seeking to replace the red poppy, symbolic of Remembrance Day, with a white poppy, supposedly to symbolize peace. Those who support this view see the red poppy as perpetuating a nostalgic culture of war and so should be replaced. But they, as many others over the past several decades who have tried to shift the focus of this important day, miss the point of what it means to remember. We remember not to glorify war but instead to pay tribute to those willing to die for something greater then self. We remember so that we don’t make the same mistakes of history that caused those to lose their lives. No, to wear a white poppy, or to shift the focus of Remembrance Day, is not only disrespectful to those who served and died it’s also a dangerous thing for society. For when we forget, we fall at risk of repeating the same mistakes with tragic consequences. That’s why the phrase ‘lest we forget’ is integral to the Remembrance Day experience.
There are a number of parallels for the church.
The act of remembrance in the life of the church is done through communion. Different churches do it different ways but we at GBC do it weekly through our Breaking of Bread service. We come together to remember the sacrifice of Jesus, His death specifically, paying the price for our sins thus allowing us to have right standing with God. But it’s more than that. When we remember, we remember His life, His ministry, His example and also the fact that the tomb is empty. Jesus rose from the dead, He sits at the right hand of His heavenly father and He is coming again. It’s a time of reflection, tinged with a degree of sadness but filled ultimately with hope- a hope of new life in heaven where there will be no more tears, suffering, death, disease, and yes, no more war. This is the ultimate message of peace from the ultimate messenger- the Prince of Peace.
As with the white poppy people, there are those who would seek to change, misuse or ignore the act of remembrance. Some, by worshipping the act, forget the purpose and miss the power, others by ignoring it and seeing it as not relevant then wonder why they drift in their relationship with God. Still others seek to redefine it to move beyond the act of remembering, as if the thought of a man hanging on a cross for our sins is somehow offensive. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not saying it needs to be done the way it’s always been done. I’m not that much of a traditionalist. The medium can, and often should, change but the message doesn’t. For when the message changes it’s no longer an act of remembrance but some politicized event that has lost its purpose. The act of communion, of remembering, is designed for us to draw closer to God, to worship Him, draw strength from Him and continue to run the race with endurance.
Yes, a lot of parallels to two important things in our lives. Both are conscious acts of remembrance, important not only for the past, but more importantly, to sustain us as we move forward. Let’s not forget!
“Give thanks with a grateful heart” goes the chorus, the Bible says give thanks to the Lord (1 Chron.16:8) and we did that a few weeks ago here in Canada and our American neighbors will do next month. Thanksgiving usually means getting the family or some semblance of family together to eat too much turkey. We’re thankful for a good spread and that people could make it and then we move on to the usual pace of life and forget. A brief pause in an otherwise peddle to the metal existence. But that’s not where our focus should lie.
When you look at the origins of Thanksgiving, going back to an agricultural society where it was tied into the harvest, it had a lot more immediate significance. They were thankful for the food that would keep them going through the depths of winter and more importantly for the God who provided it. Today we are thankful when we find a good deal on a turkey at Zehrs but often forget the same God who gave us the abundance of choice.
Has the idea then of Thanksgiving become unfashionable? Is it, dare I say, even redundant and in need of being jettisoned to the scrap heap? Can we connect anymore with the intent like our forefathers did?
I think we can.
Though we no longer hunt for or grow our food that doesn’t mean each year we can’t pause to give thanks for the bounty we have. We have so many things to be thankful for, so many blessings. We have not only the opportunity of food choices but even more, peace and prosperity in this land. Though we fear many things it seems (think of some of the rhetoric around politics of late) little of them become reality. Instead we enjoy a stability of life many in the world cannot even imagine.
Count your blessings, give thanks, in fact 1 Thessalonians says give thanks in all circumstances. (1 Thess 5:18) seeming to raise the stakes.
What about those who are suffering right now? …who’ve experienced economic difficulties…who’ve suffered tragedy and loss…who’re wracked with pain or disease? What can they possibly count as a blessing? A few things. One, that there’s a purpose even in their suffering and loss. We may not understand it but there’s a God in charge who will use these things for His glory, eventually revealing the purpose. Daniel was a man well acquainted with the mysterious ways God works. Taken into slavery, elevated to high office, falsely accused and imprisoned, he still had a spirit of thanksgiving. He wrote: “He (God) reveals deep and hidden things, he knows what lies in darkness. I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers… there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries.” (Daniel 2:22-23, 28).
Still not enough? In the end He will make it right, everything will be sorted out, what has happened was not random, was not unnoticed and will be remembered. At the name of Jesus every knee will bow (Phil 2:10 ), the dead will be judged according to what they’ve done (Rev. 20:12) and there will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain (Rev.21:4). How can you not be thankful with that in mind?
If you didn’t already, take time, stop, ponder, maybe even meditate, on the blessings in your life, count them, name them and then give thanks for them. Doing this may not only make your day, but it could change your life!
Psalm 126:3 says the Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. Give thanks, with a grateful heart, because He’s given Jesus Christ the son.
Back at it…kids are back to school, teachers are back to work and fall ministry is kicking off after the lazy, hazy and HOT summer we’ve had. In our youth Bible study I recently talked about being an approved workman and the idea of going back to school in a sense with our own walk with God and I continue to ponder that a bit. We go to school to learn but also to experience and grow. Is that our experience with God? Do we pray a prayer then sleepwalk through our relationship with Him until He calls us home- going to church, doing religious stuff or do we learn, experience and grow? Do we need to get ‘back at it’ in our journey with God? To me that’s the heart of Paul’s challenge to Timothy in 2 Timothy.
Let’s look at the text.
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. (2 Tim.2:15)
So that’s Paul’s encouragement to him, and by extension I believe for us. While this was a charge for a young pastor and to all pastors (so pay attention Chris!!) I believe it relates to all of us who call ourselves followers of Christ.
We need to do our best. That means God looks at our efforts. He examines our hearts, not our results. This means the person who seems like a giant for the Lord may in fact be a mouse and vice versa. To me this is good news because if I earnestly try that’s what God is looking for. “Do your best” also is a constant, meaning it’s ongoing, not a one-time thing. Stay with it or get back to it!
We need to seek to be an approved worker. A lot of people are workers and aren’t working. A lot of people call themselves Christian and aren’t living according to God’s instruction manual. This is not a do-it-yourself project but rather a set of instructions given by the Master with His aid through the Holy Spirit. That also means though He has a standard we need to follow in order to ensure our work is approved.
We don’t want to be ashamed. Our work will be inspected by the Chief Inspector someday. We will be judged based on His standards and there will be consequence for disobedience. Paul wrote to a group that needed to be reminded of this:
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Cor.5:10)
Yes, an inspection is coming and the approved worker doesn’t want to be ashamed.
What is the other part of being an approved worker? To correctly handle the word of truth, the Bible, and that means we need to become students. This means we need to study, to meditate, to learn and to grow. We need good counsel, good teaching, good resources and good attitudes. But we don’t study to impress, to win at Bible trivia, or to argue points of theology (see 2 Timothy 2:14 for a warning on this) but rather to be an approved worker, who isn’t ashamed, who seeks the favour and praise of the Master Builder.
So how are you doing at this? Are you a student? What are you studying and for what purpose? The great thing about God is if you aren’t a student, are not studying and are doing it for the wrong purpose you can always start afresh, begin anew and get on HIS track, seek HIS agenda and follow HIS way. It’s time to get back to school and stay in school. This is one long, lifetime, continuing education course with a degree at the end that far surpasses anything the earth can offer, a crown of life from the Headmaster (2 Tim.4:8). That sounds so good I’m even looking forward to the homework!
A while ago a person new to our church asked someone they knew to characterize GBC. After a moment of thought he came back with: “quirky people who love Jesus.” That got a bit of a laugh and still can get a chuckle but I have to confess I was a bit unhappy with that. Not that it wasn’t accurate, it was, but it was more: did I want to be leading such a group? I guess perhaps it pulled on my ego (God’s still working on that with me!) but lately I’ve been reconsidering this and have found it to be a source of joy for me. For the longest time I focused on the first part: ‘quirky people’ but lately I settled on the last: ‘who love Jesus’. No, I can not only live with that but it makes my heart soar.
Quirky people who LOVE Jesus!
The church is made up of many parts, some glamourous, others not so much. Each though are important when they serve their function- to love Jesus. Paul talked about this is 1 Corinthians 12 when he said: Just as a body has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body— were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many…. one body, many parts, even quirky ones! The challenge for me then has been what he addresses right after that:
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be...everyone has a place in God’s body. The Protestant church is often criticized for having so many manifestations but in many ways this is why- there are so many different types of people, some quirky, and therefore expressions of how to worship and love Jesus, but love Jesus we must do.
It’s one thing to characterize someone as being ‘quirky’ but that can sometimes lead to criticism from the ‘beautiful people’ of our society (not criticizing them either!) in our desire to make the church attractive and reach our communities. The problem is that when we start classifying people we become like the Pharisees Jesus criticized. In Luke 5 after Jesus called Matthew, the tax collector as a disciple, Matthew held a big party for his friends. Here’s what’s reported: Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law who belonged to their sect complained to his disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” All were people who needed him, and needed him desperately, quirky or not. Were the ‘church people’ showing love? The answer is pretty obvious.
GBC will never become a megachurch (ego says ‘ouch’) but in all honestly I don’t think I have the temperament for that anyways. I’m a quirky guy in a lot of ways so it’s not surprising others like me are attracted to us. God’s body, the church, is a diverse, wide, wacky and wonderful thing and there’s a place for everyone in it. That’s why we have so many different expressions. Is this an advertisement for GBC? Not really…well, maybe. The point is, if you don’t feel like you fit in anywhere keep looking, there’s a place, like GBC, that will meet you where you are and love who you are. That’s letting our light shine and I’m pretty honored to be the shepherd of such a place that loves Jesus in tangible ways.
Quirky people who love Jesus? Yes, we are and we do, and I LOVE it!
As I drive around I see on a lot of school signs with this message: “Have a safe and fun summer” and it really bugs me. Why Chris, you might ask? Do I want kids to run aimlessly in the streets, handle toxic waste or swim right after eating? No (except maybe the last one!). I’m not advocating foolish recklessness but I am concerned with the fear that so permeates our culture.
Can we talk?
With 24 hours news and rampant social media we hear of every bad thing, event or product no matter how obscure and it changes us. We begin to look over our shoulders, wonder at the person walking towards us and especially we get scared for our children. I’m a parent, I get that. I have fear for my kids too. But….where are the days of seeking and living an adventure? Where are the days of allowing children to make mistakes, to get hurt and to grow in character by learning? A protective bubble doesn’t equip a future generation to strive to solve the problems we’ve created. In many ways I think the rise in extreme sports and risky events is a byproduct of this. We’re wired by God to seek the challenge and ‘safe’ is not very motivating.
Unfortunately I see the same attitude has crept into the church.
Our relationship with God now seems to be about our own personal comfort and protection. We’re so focused on these things we’ve allowed the Great Commission of going into the world and making disciples slip away. But there is a greater danger in mimicking this cultural trend. When we allow fear to dictate and direct our actions where is our strength coming from and what does this show about how big and powerful our God is? When we fall to fear that telegraphs a lack of faith to the world around us, and especially our children who watch us live out that same faith.
Our journey with God is about faith and that takes trust. This trust is not just for salvation but also for the day-to-day. We see this example of faith/trust in times of trouble lived out by Joseph, Joshua and David. We celebrate them and teach about them in our Sunday Schools. So why don’t we live like them?
Even Jesus displayed a faith/trust in God and definitely lived on the edge. In Gethsemene he declared “not my will but your will be done” (Matt.26:39), a bold declaration of trust that had nothing to do with his own comfort and safety but rather everything to do with obedience to the will of God the Father.
But then Jesus knew that because he also walked closely with God so knew his role. He told his followers he came not to bring peace but a sword (Matt.10:34) and we all know swords are dangerous. Hey, they cut people! That’s the point (get it??).
We say we want to be like Christ and then we hide behind a wall. The Bible says if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation (2 Cor.5:17) which means something can and should drive our day-to-day lives. It means we’re his and HE’S in control.
So eat an apple without washing it, go for a walk without a water bottle, ride a bicycle on the street instead of the sidewalk (but be sure to wear a helmet!) and begin to LIVE perhaps a little more dangerously because you know who you are and WHOSE you are.
Have you ever played the game Trouble? You move your colored pegs around a board and try to get them safe. But if someone lands on your piece you’re sent back and have to start over again. It’s an annoyingly fun game but I wonder if some feel like life is like this: you’re moving through life and then something happens and you have to start all over again.
Trouble, by definition means a problem or difficulty. It’s not hard to understand the meaning intellectually but then when we finds ourselves trying to move the pegs of our lives and it comes the reality becomes much harder. There are times we don’t want to play the game of life (don’t get me started on THAT one!) and we’d prefer to stay in bed and pull the covers over our head!
Jesus’ disciples had the same sort of experiences themselves. They would get discouraged, doubt, have fear. Many had given up their livelihood, were ostracized by society and so struggled.
We read the hope and assurance Jesus offered to them in John 14:1-6. He said to them: "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.
In our recent youth group Bible study we looked in the end at Heaven which speaks to our final destination. That is a hope that helps through bad days. We who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior don’t need to worry regardless of how bad things get. That is the assurance he gave his disciples in this passage and extends to those who are his disciples today.
Even more than that, Jesus also said: “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."
We have hope based on the assurance he has not only prepared a place for us but he’s coming again. When he comes back, everything will be made right.
But doubt creeps in at times, especially when things get tough.
The disciple Thomas doubted; he wasn’t sure. So he asked Jesus: "Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?"
Here is perhaps one of the most profound statements of the whole New Testament, but the one that gets those of us who say there is only one way to Heaven into trouble.
Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” Jesus himself, great teacher, man of compassion, kind and loving person he was, states categorically if you want to get to Heaven, its only through him.
No other way…not by your good deeds…not by being a good person…not by hoping you go…..no, only through him. But also, be THANKFUL you won’t be measured based on your works, good deeds or faithfulness…most of us would fall WAY short. Again, hope based on the assurance that anyone who calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved.
He has gone to prepare a place for us, that’s what Good Friday and Easter are about. Through Jesus death, burial and yes, resurrection, he made this possible.
We can take hope from the assurance he gives us. If you lack hope, you lack assurance. Look at your relationship with Jesus. Do you have one? If not, if you’re not sure, then get one. Find someone, or message me and we can make sure you have a hope based on the assurance of Jesus Christ. When that happens, you won’t worry again.
Will you be concerned when you look outside and see the reality of our topsy-turvy world? Sure, we all are. But you won’t worry because there’s a room in Heaven waiting for you, all prepared: pillow fluffed, temperature just perfect, fuzzy robe on the bed, awesome view….waiting.
I’ve been teaching our youth group Bible study on the Book of Revelation (yes, that’s right, and they requested it!). While that has been going on I’ve also been reading about church dynamics based on age trying to understand our place in God’s kingdom as a church with a heritage of over 100 years. I was surprised to hear the vast majority of churches are closed or insignificant past 80 years if they make it past 7. I have to tell you that’s a stat that gets your attention! All of this has gotten me thinking anew about who we at GBC are in this context.
Anyway, my thoughts with all this input drifted back to Jesus assessment of the 7 churches at the beginning of Revelation and what we at GBC might learn from it.
When God let us know through John how things will end and when Heaven on Earth will return, it started with an open letter to 7 churches in Asia at the time. Sadly, the importance and relevance of this has often been lost in the debate and discussion about the end times and how it’ll all unfold. It’s unfortunate because often the powerful messages held in the letters are skimmed over.
So what was it all about? They’re a circulating letter meaning all 7 go to all the churches but even more it’s an x-ray view of what’s happening there. It’s a 1st century version of Wikileaks, an honest, open assessment of what REALLY is going on there as God sees it, not as is projected by the church itself or by how society views them. It really is a fascinating read when you separate it from seven-headed dragons, lakes of fire and descriptions of angels. Yet you really can’t separate them.
The point of the letter is to tell what’s to come, the purpose of the initial assessment of the churches is for them to know where they stand with God. He says at some point in each of the 7 letters: I know your deeds (Rev. 2:2,2:9, 2:13, 2:19, 3:1, 3:8, 3:15)
And this is where we come in.
For some of the churches, the assessment is pretty negative. For others despite an air of success they’re roundly condemned. God exhorts them to repent, to turn from the things that He hates and live according to what they’ve been taught. He tells them: wake up! It’s a challenge to throw off complacency and even self-sufficiency because a time of judgment is coming and those found lacking will not be happy with the results.
For other churches it’s the opposite. They’re struggling, under pressure, facing persecution and God tells them: hold on! It’s an encouragement that things will get better and everything will be made right in the end as every action and deed will be accounted for.
The great thing for we here at GBC, or for any church today really, is we now have something to measure against. Yes, you can argue we have the whole scripture but that can be daunting at times and even confusing when we look at all the different ways of assessing success and failure. Yet here in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation we have a concise and focused assessment of what GOD views as important and unimportant and how HE views it. We then have the opportunity to measure ourselves against this and see how we stand in that context.
For some, it will be encouraging, for others, very sobering.
So I come back to the original question: who is GBC? I see us having elements of several of the churches. I, sadly, see elements of Ephesus, a struggle with loving those around us. I see also some bits of Laodicea, a sometimes lukewarm attitude and focus on our own comfort. But in balance, I also see Philadelphia, a patient endurance, staying true to the faith despite pressure and upset, our great service and staying true to the word of God.
So who then is GBC? I would say we are a church in transition since we reflect elements of several. The more important question then becomes: where are we going?
He knows our deeds, He knows our heart, the issue then becomes, what are we, as the body of Christ, His visible representative, going to do with our Wikileak? We make up the body, we impact it by our actions or lack of them, we respond to the call of the Holy Spirit. Don’t say: what are THEY doing about it? Instead ask yourself: what am I going to do to ensure that when we face the Lord at the great (and for some, terrible) time of judgment we read about in Revelation 20 we will be found faithful? I pray when that time comes we’ll hear the words as the faithful servant did when he did something positive with his talents: well done (Matthew 25:21,23).
In the wake of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy I’ve been asked by several people questions that often come up in times like this:
“How could a good God allow this to happen?”
“Where was God in all this?”
And the simpler but more direct: “why God?”
Those are all excellent and fair questions in times like this and similar to ones I ask myself. First off I’d say we shouldn’t try to look for simple or pat answers in times like this. God is mysterious at times and his ways our not our ways (Isaiah 55:7). We need to rest in his sovereignty and perfect plan. We also live in a fallen world and so disaster and tragedy should be expected. Still, God doesn’t leave us hanging in times like this.
Jesus said this in John 16 as a reminder when we ask ‘why God?’: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
We serve a God who knows what it’s like to suffer as well. Jesus was betrayed and abandoned by his friends, he was tortured, mocked and ridiculed by those he came to love and save and ultimately faced capital punishment for a crime he didn’t commit suffering the agony of the cross and the weight of the sin of the world. As Paul reminds us in his letter to the church of Rome: “While we were stills sinners, Jesus died for the ungodly.” (Rom.5:8)
So God knows and more importantly, he acts to bring comfort and meaning to senseless tragedies like this. So how could God allow this to happen? He gives us free will and we have choices such as the choice to accept or reject him. Where was God? In the same place he’s always been. God is still on the throne, he’s not surprised by what’s going on and he’s already working as we’ve seen in the outpouring of love and respect across the country. In an era where we’re becoming increasingly polarized and angry Humboldt has been a unifying force for this country.
Last but not least- ‘why God?’ We ultimately don’t know but we know we follow a God who’s been there, who loved us enough to send his son to die for us and is working even now to bring comfort and meaning to this tragedy.
I read the transcript and watched the message Humboldt pastor and Bronco’s team chaplain Sean Brandow gave at the memorial service for the victims that was held last Sunday. It was a powerful, spirit-led moment and explained this far better than I could and I close with it:
What will you do with one breath? Each breath that you have left, what are you going to do with it? Will you seek the God who has walked and who has died to show his love and his concern and his care for you? Or will you get bitter and angry and frustrated? Come to the God of comfort.
I want to read one verse, one verse. This is from Paul, the book of Romans, chapter 15, verse 13: ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the holy spirit.’
I told my church this this morning, I’ve never felt so empty in my life. I needed to be reminded of Jesus, I needed to hear from God in this darkness. I didn’t have anything to give because I wasn’t full of hope myself. As the verse ends, you know, may God fill you with that. God can fill you up so that you can be a blessing to somebody else, but if you don’t have hope, you can’t be a blessing to anyone else.
I want you to be full of hope, through the person of Jesus Christ. We receive him by faith, knowing full well what he has done and what he has accomplished.
I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that.
Isn’t that amazing? Pastor Sean’s words were so powerful. The truth is I don’t have all the answers either to why we suffer but I know who does, and who to look towards and that gives me a living hope and answers my ‘why?’ questions.
"At GBC we're serious about the Bible, serious about the truths that are found in it and living in Him but also like to laugh, cry and experience life together."