AN ENCOURAGING WORD FROM TERRY
November 25, 2020
Well here we are, December 2020. When we began this year COVID was a small news story in a far-off land and we were more worried about starting 2020 with a bang and not looking back. Obviously, all of that was tossed out the window once March arrived. On top of the pandemic chaos came the election chaos of 2020 as well as the chaos of social issues that consumed our country. Most disturbing was the toll all the chaos took on our churches and Christianity in general. Obviously, all of us were forced to deal with situations we had never faced and for some it was too much. However, I am proud to say most of our folks, within the association, faced these issues with faith, trust, and courage in the only One who can cure all the issues we face. To say the least it has been one CRAZY YEAR that I would rather move forward from and reflect on what I learned rather than what I might have lost.
There is probably no better way to end a year like 2020 than with the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ! Why would His birth be so important this year versus any other year? The short answer is: it is important every year and we need to hear the message of Christmas loudly and clearly once again this year. The fact is without His birth there would not have been the MOST IMPORTANT EVENT IN HUMAN HISTORY: HIS DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION!! Therefore, let us turn our focus, at least for a little while, to the celebration of His birth with renewed fervor. Let us focus on the “GIFT” of Jesus as never before. Let us not worry as much about temporary gifts but rather on the only permanent “GIFT” that truly matters: Jesus Christ. Also remember to focus on your immediate family as well as your church family. They are all a “gift” from the Lord and even with their warts they are worth the effort. One last encouragement I would ask you to focus on is to remember your pastor and their family. Obviously, all of us have suffered much this year, however, pastors have been so restricted this year from serving their congregations; consequently, many are suffering from emotional burnout. It has indeed been one of the most difficult years to be a pastor I have ever experienced. Knowing their decisions concerning the conduct of church life would either make some upset or please others has been an exceedingly difficult thing to navigate. Remember folks, they too, along with their families, have been affected by this pandemic and were faced with situations they never anticipated facing in ministry. I can tell you they all love the Lord, YOU, and the ministry God has led them to; therefore, love on them a bit as well.
Finally, please pray the Lord would give direction, unity, and joy as we look to a new year of service within the BEST IN THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, “THE WEST CHOWAN BAPTIST ASSOCIATION!” Remember I love you and exist to serve in any way possible as you navigate the challenges before us all.