Brothers and sisters,
It is incredible to me to think that my first month as your Senior Pastor has almost already come and gone! I am enjoying getting to meet new people and getting to know every-one here more fully. Thank you all for continuing to be patient with me as I learn names and learn how different things operate here at Hope Valley. I am grateful to be a part of this community of believers.
As we do get to know each other better, I wanted to give you all a bit of a preview of what’s to come in worship during this summer. All my life, the churches that I have either at-tended or worked in have had pastors who preached sermon series. Typically, a series would last anywhere from four to twelve weeks, depending on what the topic being considered was. I, myself, tend to think that sermon series are really helpful in worship because it allows us all to spend a longer period of time considering either an important figure in the Bible, an important image or set of images, or an important idea. I have always felt that sermon series give us a way to think about our faith together as a church family.
So, over the next nine weeks, we will be taking a look at King David. The series will be entitled, “The Man After God’s Own Heart” and will be a series focused on the complexity of David’s character and the goodness and mercy of God’s character. To me, David is such an interesting figure because he so fully embodies what it means to be human. David is someone whose actions can reach the heights of goodness and faithfulness, but can also fall to the depths of corruption and sin. And yet, somehow, David is still referred to as “the man after God’s own heart.” He is still included in Jesus’ genealogy to the point that Jesus is sometimes referred to as, “the son of David.” He ends up embodying this tension that Christians always live in—that while we are saved, we are still sinners.
Thus, David’s character ends up asking us a lot of interesting questions that I hope we can explore over the next nine weeks. What does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be faithful? What does it mean for God to be faithful to us? How should our faith affect our relationships with other people? How should our faith affect our relationship with God? These are not always easy questions to answer, but I think that so much of growing in our faith and learning to be disciples comes from wrestling with tough questions.
As we move into this series and into the summer, my prayer is that we will be able to glean wisdom and instruction from the life of David. My prayer will also be that we will continue to meet the challenges posed to us by the pandemic. Even as things begin to open back up and life begins to resemble something like normal for us, let us continue to pray for those in our own society for whom the dangers of the pandemic are still very real. And do continue to pray for health and peace for all God’s children in every nation.
Grace and peace to you all,