March 8, 2015

Sundays are special to a believer in Jesus Christ.  It is the day that God’s people come apart from the world & gather to encourage, uplift, & rejoice in the Name of Jesus.  This past Sunday was no exception to that here at Bethel.  The congregational singing was vibrant & enthusiastic.  The choir number in the AM was “over the top.”  They sang “I Will Glorify” & they really did!  My heart was thoroughly blessed by it.  Then Mrs. Elizabeth Gallagher’s violin offertory of “I Need Thee Every Hour” was icing on the cake.  We were reminded of how much we need the Lord & how ready he is to attend to us.  Pastor Seth accompanied her on the piano & their presentation excellently spoke to our hearts.  I preached from II Cor. 11:2-4 on “Satan’s Schemes” which keyed in on how the enemy tries to beguile God’s people through his incessant traps laid along the way.

When Sunday morning was over, I felt kinship with the people.  Our hearts were bonded together in the matrimony of worship to the Lord.  It was not a ritualistic duty to be in church; it was an enjoyable privilege.  PTL for Sunday School & morning worship which are enriching & fulfilling on a regular basis.

The evening service  was opened in prayer by Pastor Seth.  The choir basses did a great job on “Reflection & Praise.”  Mrs. Emily Blewett’s piano solo offertory had a flowing opening.  Then the old song, “What a Friend We have in Jesus,” was tastily freshened up by the nice arrangement.  A briefer than usual testimony time ensued.  And I preached on “Hospitality” as practiced & encouraged in the New Testament church.

So at the end of the day, we had served as a church family together in various ways (ushering, teaching, singing, instruments, nursery, praying, encouraging, etc.)  It was a day of fulfillment for God’s people.  Someone said to me recently when their northern church service was cancelled due to a blizzard, “I miss when we do not have church on Sunday.  My whole week is confused.”  And that is the way it truly is for God’s people in a vibrant local church.  There is a satisfaction & a fulfillment on Sundaynight after the evening service.  We have been with the Lord & His people.  We have worshipped Him in truth & in spirit.  And that produces the joy of the Lord in fulfilled satisfaction.

I do not know about you, but going to church on the Lord’s Day is a pleasure for which I am indeed thankful.  I have been doing it now for 64 years since my mother started taking me when I was just three years old.  You would think it would get “old hat” after all that time, but I think it just gets better.  Maybe that is because this old world just gets worse & more corrupt.  Anyway, for my part, I am so-o-o-o thankful that an All-Wise Heavenly Father institutedSunday for His precious people.  PTL!

Pastor Stertzbach