Greetings in the Name of the Lord!
Each month I look forward to writing this pastoral letter as it provides a unique opportunity to include all the members of our church family in the work that I am honored and privileged to do as your pastor. My family and I are always blessed by the love and friendship we are shown and give thanks again for the many things y’all do for us. As a reminder we are hosting the spring meeting of the Mississippi Valley Presbytery on March 3rd and 4th. I want to let you know that you are more than welcome to attend the worship service at 7:00pm on Monday night. We value your prayers for those travelling and for the preparations. On another matter we should be concluding our morning worship series through Daniel on the Lord’s Day March 2nd. I will preach two “overview” sermons on the 9th and the 16thand then on the 23rd and the 30th I will preach two sermons on the Lord’s Supper. After this on April 6th we will start looking at Paul’s letter to the Colossians in the morning worship service.
While it may seem like quite a change going from an Old Testament book that is mostly about visions and dreams and shadowy Babylonian rulers to a New Testament letter that deals with the trials facing a body of believers in a city like Colosse one of the things you will notice is the place peace has in both the life of Daniel and the words of the Apostle Paul. In fact Daniel and Paul both understand that true peace in this life does not come in the form of material wealth or even the relative temporal situation one may be in, but this peace comes from the very nature of the God we serve. Daniel very quickly in his book finds himself an alien in a foreign land where he is forced to make a decision as to whether he will engage in activities that are clearly spoken against in the Word given to his fathers or if he will act pragmatically in order to make his life “easier” in this new environment. It is a similar situation that the new church in Colosse finds itself where false teachers, mostly Judaizers, have come into their family and are preaching a different gospel than the one Paul had brought to them through the blessing of the Holy Spirit. At the end of the second chapter the Apostle warns the people that the liberty to do those things that God has given them through the shed blood of His Son is not to be given away for the false and misleading promises of fleshly practices that outwardly may seem wise, but are “will worship”, that is worship devised by men, for men and not by God, for God, to whom all worship is to be focused and by whom we are to receive our worship practices. This is a part of why we do not engage in activities of the church calendar this time of year (or any part of the year), like Lent and its associated festivities. For we have been freed from the fleshly ordinances of the ceremonial law and have been given the liberty to worship in spirit and truth fitting with the will and command of God and not according to man’s devices.
One last thing this month, I have mentioned before that the Elders are planning on beginning home visitation. We are still working on the nuts and bolts and schedule on this. I will let you know more from the pulpit as we know more. This will again provide an opportunity for you to share questions/comments on the life of the church as well as an opening for the Elders and I to bear your burdens and provide prayer and supplication. Please ask if you have questions. We are here to serve you.
In God’s Love,
Rev. Benjamin P. Glaser, M. Div. Pastor,
The Ellisville Presbyterian Church, ARP