Grace and peace to you from God our Father to my beloved friends at McCutchanville CC,
This might be the beginning of the way the Apostle Paul might have greeted us all if he were addressing a letter to us while sitting chained in a Roman prison. his is the way he greeted the church at Colossae (the Colossians). However, as he went more deeply into his writing, he undoubtedly would raise a concern about the Church of Jesus Christ that he loved so deeply.
So what would it be? Would he say we should have a praise band? Would he say we should have more potlucks? Would he say we should choose a brighter color to paint the fellowship area? Would he say we should greet one another with a hug, or just a plain old handshake? Would he say we should call ourselves Methodists, or Baptists, or Catholics, or independent? Would he say we should use wine instead of juice for Holy Communion, and by all means we should use better tasting bread? Would he say children should not run in the church? Would he say the church is too hot or too cold? Would he say the pastor preaches too long? Would he say we should have two services?
Well, he or someone could go and on with this, but really I’m not sure what he would actually write to us. However, I’m pretty sure it would somewhat resemble the Holy Spirit inspired writings recorded in the Bible called: Colossians, Ephesians, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Romans, Philippians, Philemon, 1 & 2 Thessaloournians or Titus (all widely attributed to Paul).
He would encourage us to put our faith in Christ above all else. He would remind us of the sacrificial death of Jesus for our sins and that we are saved by grace through faith, not by works so that we would not ever be prideful and boast of what we have done. He would remind us where our priorities should lie, and to take more seriously the words of Jesus and the Apostles who established the Church of Jesus Christ. There are many whom I'm sure he would commend for their discernment and charity (their gifts of being used for the glory of God).
Really, Paul’s primary message was this: He preached the death, resurrection, and lordship of Jesus Christ, and he proclaimed that faith in Jesus guarantees a share in his life. And that we should be wary of outside distractions, those who speak of matters that do not align with the Holy Scriptures.
As you know I enjoy so much the Book of Philippians, primarily because it is great encouragement to rejoice and have joy in your life. Today so many, including Christians, lack joy – and because of that we are setting a bad example. Christians, we should rejoice because after all, we have assurance of God with us NOW and God with us FOREVER MORE! Paul might say: “Rejoice, McCutchanville, again I say rejoice!”
I close this “from the pastor” with the closing verses from the Book of Ephesians 6:23-24: Peace be with you, dear brothers and sisters, and may God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you love with faithfulness. May God’s grace be eternally upon all who love our Lord Jesus Christ.