“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!” These words from Psalm 100 are a fitting reminder that God not only calls us to worship him, but he calls us to worship him with thanksgiving and praise. On Thanksgiving Eve, some of us met at church for a worship service in which we had opportunity to publicly express our thankfulness to God for his abundant goodness to us. It is always encouraging to hear these expressions of gratitude; they are a reminder that even in difficult circumstances the Lord blesses us with tokens of his love and care for us.
The next day our family hosted several people from the church for a traditional Thanksgiving meal. For the last several years we have grilled turkey breasts on a charcoal grill, one of the best ways (in my opinion) to eat turkey! We enjoyed the fellowship with our friends from church but we missed not having our two eldest daughters with us (both are away at school now).
On Sunday mornings I continue to preach from the book of Isaiah. In our passage this past Lord’s Day, Isaiah 44:24 – 45:13, we heard of the strange – even offensive? – way in which the Lord would deliver his people from their captivity in Babylon – he would raise up the pagan king Cyrus to be their deliverer. But the Lord had an even stranger – and certainly more offensive, at least to many – way in store to deliver us sinners from our bondage to sin and death. And that was through a suffering, dying Messiah. Rather than questioning God’s wisdom and right to do as he pleases (Isaiah 45:9, 10), we must praise him for his salvation and recognize that he carries out all his redemptive purposes in a way that magnifies his eternal wisdom and might.
We’ve been working our way through the Gospel of Mark on Sunday evenings. We considered Jesus’ declaration that “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17). The gospel is good news for the sick and sinful!
Below are a few pictures from various events in our church and presbytery over the last few weeks.
Soli Deo Gloria!