The One Thing That Hasn’t Changed in 2020

“For no word from God will ever fail” (Luke 1:37).

No one who answered the question, “What do you think you will be doing five years from now?” in 2015 got it right.

2020 has been something!

  • Covid-19
  • Black Lives Matter
  • 2020 Presidential election
  • Protests
  • Economic hardship
  • Global shutdown
  • Social distancing
  • Masks
  • Online worship

It’s been a tumultuous year.

But one thing that hasn’t changed – God.

  • God is still sovereign
  • God is still Lord and King
  • God is still holy and righteous
  • God’s promises
  • God’s word
  • God is, and will always be, for you
  • God loves you
  • God wants what is best for you
  • God knows better than you

More than ever, remember who you are because of who your Father is.

Many things are different than we’ve ever known. But nothing happening today changes the reality that God loves you, is for you, and is with you.

That’s the reason why we can still proclaim, “Merry Christmas!”

Grace and Mercy

“For the sake of your name, LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great” (Psalm 25:11).

Our sins are indeed great. Charles Spurgeon wrote, “We are undeserving, ill-deserving, hell-deserving sinners.”

For those who are saved, it is only because of the LORD. Our salvation and forgiveness is wholly God’s work. It is all grace. It is all mercy.

Grace and mercy.

  • Grace is when we receive what we do not deserve – forgiveness and eternal life.
  • Mercy is when we don’t receive what we absolutely deserve – judgment and damnation.

Grace and mercy.

“Great as my sins have been, they are not so great as his love,” writes Charles Spurgeon.

The only reason why salvation and forgiveness is possible is because God’s love is great.

Grace and mercy.

“The language of Christianity is the language of substitution. It is not primarily the language of morals. God is not presented as a mother saying, ‘eat your vegetables.’ Instead, Christianity is about a one-sided rescue, that we didn’t want and certainly didn’t deserve, and he did it anyway” (Rod Rosenbladt).

Grace and mercy.

Thank God for grace and mercy.

Created for Relationship

“The LORD God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone'” (Genesis 2:18).

I had been in graduate school for about nine months.

I couldn’t quite put my finger on it but I just felt off. There was nothing physically wrong with me. I was healthy and working out five days a week.

But I just felt off kilter. It was strange. I found myself walking around the shopping mall regularly.

I hate malls! I hate shopping! What was I doing at a shopping mall?

And then it finally dawned on me. Ever since I left home for graduate school I had not had any meaningful physical touch for nine months. No hugs. No hand on the shoulder. Nothing.

I lived in an apartment off campus with my cat Toots. I’d go to class, then to the library to study, then back to the apartment with Toots. Toots was a fantastic cat. She was awesome. But she was a cat.

My body was literally aching for human touch. My soul was thirsting for meaningful human interaction.

Have you ever felt that way?

Perhaps, you’re going through a season like that right now.

God created us to be relational creatures. We weren’t meant to live in isolation from each other. We were made to be together.

If you are going through a time like this, know you are not alone. There’s space at our Sunday worship services. We have gone out of our way to make it as safe as possible for you to worship in person. Get around people in a safe setting where we can practice social distancing while being together. We all need that.

If you are doing okay, know that there are people in our congregation who haven’t had much human interaction due to covid, death of a spouse, life changes, on-line worship, etc.

Little Church and Lakewoodgrace, I want to encourage you to take a look around at your neighborhood and church. There are people you know who are struggling. There are people who are in need of a little TLC during this Advent season. I encourage you to reach out to at least one person a day. Remind them that they are not alone. God is with them. And, perhaps God wants to be present in the lives of others by showing up through you.

Thank you for being the church.