I know that seems like a pretty basic title for my first Redeemer newsletter article, but it perfectly captures my sentiment two weeks into my time here. I am deeply thankful for the gracious welcome that you have extended to both me and my family. We are so appreciative that you have taken the time to get to know us, and have allowed us to get to you know you. Thanks, too, for your patience as we learn your names! It means a lot when you make the effort to introduce yourselves, and when you allow me to “hunt you down” to introduce myself and to get to know you.
I am so thankful for the Leadership Team and Elders, as well, who have invited me to join them in leading and serving this congregation. That is indeed a tremendous honor. I thank them and I thank God for the service that these teams render to Redeemer Covenant Church. It’s been a joy to get to work with them, to get to know their members, and to see their passion for this congregation and for God’s continued work among us.
I am thankful, too, for the amazing staff here at Redeemer. These are the wonderful people I see and work with on a daily basis, and I know I must echo your own sentiment when I say how truly blessed we are to have these ministry, administrative, custodial and other staff persons serving among us. They have been a big part of my feeling so welcomed, and they’ve really given me a sense of the heartbeat, history, identity, culture and direction of this congregation.
Just two weeks in, I’m already very excited about what God is going to accomplish among us during these months of my interim role as senior pastor. I’ve been thinking a bit about the “interim” nature of my role and praying about what God has in mind for this span of nine months or so. I’ve been reminded of the words of David in Psalm 39:
“Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.”
David’s song reminds me that all of life is “interim.” We’ve been given a “mere handbreadth” of days, which is true even for those among us who count ninety or more years. Some might read the words of this psalm as depressing, but I think David is inviting his listeners to simply put things in perspective. He’s asking God to give him the big picture, which includes a sense of the smallness of his own life. David’s words are meant not to make us feel helpless and worthless, but rather to invite us to ponder the importance of those few days given us, to spur us on to make those days count in the light of eternity.
So yes, my time here at Redeemer is interim by call and by nature. But really, so will my next call be, and so will all the calls and invitations that God extends to me and to each of us regarding our service in this lifetime. Will you join me in “counting the days,” not just to check them off until we get to the end, but to recognize that our time together and our time on earth is extremely precious, and that we’ve been given incredible opportunities in these days to know and worship God, to love God and others, and to make a real difference in our homes, communities and world. Thank God!