The Road Ahead
Folks are of the opinion that our world is shaking.
Even as I write this letter the news is that Kim Jung Un, the leader of North Korea, has disappeared from public view which many indicate an imminent missile launch.
The overtness of pornography and violence, increased acceptance of social drugs, legalization of abortion, assisted suicide, and same-sex marriages have altered social values. There are now efforts by institutions to give four-year-olds the right to choose whether they want to be a boy or a girl, regardless of birth certificate, and require by law that the decision of the child be respected as their sexual preference.
Mark Twain observed of fools that "One is born every minute." The statistics of Mark Twain need to be revised.
Oddly, in the mix of it all talk about the return of Jesus drifts away in societies where life is good and entertainment is available by multiple venues 24/7. Who wants Jesus to return when there are thrills and fun as instant as a smartphone?
If you live in Charlottesville you know that our quiet little town is shaken. My hunch is that 100 years from now there will be references to this present moment. If you do not live in Charlottesville you have most likely been following sad news about our city. This is not a story of Paris or London. It is a now a story of Charlottesville, a story still without a closing chapter.
We ask questions.
We answer: II Timothy 3.
We ask if there is a solution to the present crisis.
We answer: Yes, there is a solution. Folks meet at the cross in genuine repentance, humbling themselves before God, recognizing Jesus and His shed blood and death on Calvary to atone for our sins.
In the midst of last week's heartbreak, Sunday came. We gathered for worship and as a first order of service we read scripture. Then we gathered to the altar and on our knees spent a lengthy time of congregational prayer with a pastor concluding the prayer. Peace reigned. We believe and practice the principle of "If my people, who are called by my Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and heal their land” (II Chronicles 7:14).
"Christ in us, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27) will purge our lips, empty us of hatred, purify us with love, empower us with the Holy Spirit, and give us a spirit of Galatians 5:22,23.
Getting the beam out of our own eye (Matthew 7:3-5) is essential to peace of heart to forgive our brother and sister of their offenses against us.
The mission of the Church does not change with social events. We are called to follow Jesus. The gospel does not change with morning news.
Methods change. At Covenant we are looking at every ministry and re-thinking strategy. How do we involve more people more effectively to obtain greater results? We are driven with a passion to do our part to fulfill the Great Commission.
In recent weeks, including this past Sunday, a number of persons have given their hearts to Jesus. We praise the Lord!
We also praise the Lord that county officials have signed off on revised building plans allowing a final stop of the elevator to the ground floor of the Cafe building. Five levels, five stops, with all three complexes being under the same roof, increased seminar rooms, two porte cochere, rooftop patio, larger children's area! The excitement grows as the dream becomes reality.
We have much to do. Let us occupy until Jesus comes (Luke 19)!
My prayer for you: That the grace of God will soften your soul to see others as precious In light of Calvary. That you may live your powerfully for Jesus Christ holding back nothing until you see His face and hear "Well Done."
With love—Pastor Bare
The highway of the upright avoids evil;
He who guards his way guards his life. Proverbs 16:17