Dear Sandy Creek Faith Family,
I pray this newsletter finds all having enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving. This provides an excellent occasion for me to share my gratefulness. God has blessed Erin and I with a wonderful opportunity to serve at Sandy Creek Baptist Church. We are so very thankful for the loving members of our faith family. We were overwhelmed and much encouraged by your kindness during our celebration of pastor appreciation. The Bible says that one who “aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.” (1 Timothy 3:1, ESV) It is worth noting that the phrase “noble task” is most literally read “fine work”. It describes something that is good, desirable, and important. Indeed, there is no work so pleasurable and meaningful as proclaiming the goodness of God in the company of His loving family. I give thanks to God that He allows me the desire to serve Sandy Creek.
We also owe a great thanks and commitment to prayer for the member of the fellowship who have stepped up to serve on the pastor search committee. The committee has met for initial training from the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia (SBCV) and gathered to select their leadership. They have planned to create multiple ways for the congregation to communicate with the committee, e.g. a mailbox in the connection center and a general e-mail address. They are working deliberately to seek out the man God is preparing for Sandy Creek. So, we owe them not only our thanks but also a commitment to prayer. Please pray daily that God will give them wisdom, encouragement, and direction as they move forward, I encourage you to share words and notes of encouragement regularly as they work together for the good of the body.
Of course, we now look forward to celebrating the first coming of Jesus Christ, the incarnation, the fullness of God come in flesh. We call the season Christmas. Christmas has, without a doubt, been seized to promote a whole variety of activities, e.g. black Friday shopping, special gatherings, decorating, gift exchanges, and the list could continue. However, the simplicity and humility of Jesus arrival ought to capture our attention. There was not great fanfare, no grand show of fireworks, or ecstatic celebrations; rather a traveling family in a plain manger witnessing the arrival of the King of Kings as a babe. One author wrote “God does not enter our world donning bells and whistles… Instead, he waits for our eyes to adjust to the dim light emanating from the manger, to come, to see, to behold—and to truly celebrate.” As Christmas approaches, I pray that we not be distracted by bright lights, big gifts, and beautiful pageants but focus on the reason we celebrate – the coming of God in the flesh to bring salvation.
In advance, I share my thanks with all those parts of the body who are helping Sandy Creek focus on Jesus Christ as we celebrate this season. Please join us December 9th for our special services, including a Christmas program from the children, a cantata featuring our talented choir, and a fellowship meal – all with a focus on celebrating our Savior and His living body – the church.