Mom was of German ancestry and had a dry wit even into her nineties. I thought one day to bring that unique smile when she would particularly be amused. She was not a person to laugh out loud. Laila had given me a gift from National Geographic. I took a swab out of a sterilized container and rolled it into the saliva of my mouth and sent the swab off to a distant laboratory. Weeks passed. Months passed. I finally decided there would be no response. Then a nice box came in the mail.
My DNA had been traced to ultimate ancestry...so I was told. About 40% European...and a mix of other things. No purebred. I do not know how it all happened but my ancestors did wander about and mix up things quite a bit. I studied the results with interest.
It was the last 3% that caught my attention. While visiting with Mom, I opened her computer and pulled up the results. Then I shared with her my roots maybe back 40,000 years, if you believe in National Geographic and evolution. I can assure you that my mom did not smile.She saw no humor in the results of My Dear Laila's Christmas present to me. Mom left me with a clear understanding that my money had been wasted.
Yes, this is a Pastor's Heart letter to you.I write to you about my roots and your roots. The Bible talks about our being rooted and built up in Jesus Christ. Planted on a firm foundation. Anchored in the Rock Christ Jesus. Being made in the image and likeness of God. Taking on the very character of Jesus Christ until sinners see Christ in us.
Mom and Dad talked little about their DNA roots of human culture. They never pressed upon us as a priority of acting like those who were called by the same surname.
This they did do. They read the Bible to us. They lived in the fellowship of the Church. They gave and worked diligently to build congregations that were focused on the Great Commission.
They reminded us that Jesus died for our sins and that we would one day stand before God and give an account. They made clear that we were responsible for our own soul, i.e., to confess our sins and choose Jesus as our Savior.
One more thing they did. They lived stability. They were not tumbleweed being blown across the desert by whimsical winds. They were not grains of sand to be washed randomly to tides of distant shores. They were not clouds without rain. They were solid. Steady. Focused. Christ was the center of their life. They lived humbly, serving and loving...tithing and giving. They died powerfully leaving remarkable examples of faith and courage.
I write to you about one of the heaviest burdens this pastor carries: There are many who are building their houses on the sand (Matthew 7:24-27). These are challenging times. If you are a long-time part of Covenant Church you will well remember I preached decades ago that these times would come. This is no time to be wandering about trying to find a spiritual fix for vacillating emotions and dream of a mystical encounter that will magically put broken pieces together. This is no time to be following fads and fashions.
Settle down. Get into a Body of Believers who are committed to Bible study. Settle down. Be faithful in attendance and stewardship. Settle down and be consistent. Settle down and pray that you may look and act like Jesus (Hebrews 12). Work as if time is limited. Work as if darkness is coming. Work as if your life and eternity depend on it. Work in hopes that you can share Christ with others and change their eternity.
Covenant Church's character is solid. We march on together, serving, studying the Bible, working together, giving, reaching, missional...We are Covenant!
When you follow Jesus, God smiles because your DNA looks like that of your Elder Brother.
Much Love, Pastor Bare
Song: Work for the Night Is Coming Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20