Looking Forward While Looking Back

Even if you didn’t stay up to celebrate the passing of 2020, I’m sure we’re all relieved it’s behind us. We may not have all actually shouted “Happy New Year”, but we’re all looking forward to a happier 2021.

To say it’s been a challenging year is a massive understatement. Not only did we endure a stressful political season, but we were all stressed by a virus that invaded our lives. Some were obviously effected more than others, but it certainly touched every one of us. There is no need to document all the hardships, we all know what they were and continue to be. But the promise of Romans 8:28 gives us more hope for the future than an annual cry of “Happy New Year!”

God has promised to bring good out of everything that happens to us, if we love Him and are called according to His purpose. Not only does that give us courage to face the future, it invites us to look back at what God has already done.

When we were mandated to close our doors, we cancelled our services as if it were a snow storm. By the next week, however, we were offering online videos of praise, a sermon, and a communion meditation. And after the mandate was loosened, and thirteen weeks with our doors closed, we opened to in-house worship. We have been able to continue doing so ever since, even adding nurseries, Sunday School classes, youth groups, and Bible studies.

As to be expected, our worship attendance dropped to record lows. But we still averaged seventy-four over the last seven months, averaging eighty- eight during the month of December. And gratefully, our giving continued to exceed our projected needs. A couple of very generous gifts even enabled us to meet special needs on the mission field, and to repave our parking lot.

The greatest blessing to come during the last ten months, no doubt, is the number of new families that have begun worshipping with us. I pray those who have been unable to attend in person will soon be able to return and get to know their new brothers and sisters.

God Bless, Rick

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