Monday, April 01, 2013

Connecting the past to the present and the future

Easter is a time when the old, old story of Jesus' life, sacrificial death and resurrection is retold and connected to both our current, victorious life and our future hope. It is, therefore, appropriate that the past, present and future were all brought together on Easter Sunday at Baptist Temple.

The service began with the baptism of Ernest, a young man who attended Baptist Temple as a child. He, along with siblings and cousins, would be picked up each Sunday by the church bus ministry. He would attend Sunday school and worship where, he would not only hear the gospel but, also, see it lived out in the actions of the men and women who showed these children so much love.

Ernest had strayed from the faith but, when the Holy Spirit began to speak to his heart, he returned to the place to where he had heard the Word of God. Ernest came to faith because a few years ago faithful Christians maintained and drove the vans, taught the children, gave the needed finances and, most importantly, loved the Lord.

"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)
The result is that on Easter Sunday we baptized a member of the millennial generation who is now a co-laborer in fields that “are white unto the harvest” (John 4:35). The work of the past bore fruit in the present and shows promise for the future.

Towards the end of our worship another act underscored the theme. A special offering was presented from the estate of a beloved saint whose work and giving for the sake of the gospel was part of the reason that our church was able to teach young Ernest the gospel and baptize him when the seed took root.

This generous gift from Nel's estate will go towards building an endowment that will help to ensure that Baptist Temple will continue to be a light in this community where Ernest's children and grandchildren will hear the Word of life. Nel supported her church when she was alive and her gift ensures that she will continue to do so now that she is in the presence of our Lord. She was part of Baptist Temple's past and present and will be a part of the future.

Many Christians' commitment to the gospel is so strong that they have left a gift for their church in their wills. They have ensured that their generosity will extend past their natural life. They not only believe in the gospel but, also, that their church will continue to bring that gospel to future generations.

Furthermore, they know that others before them had sacrificed so that could hear the gospel. Their planned gift is a way to honor those past sacrifices. Remember your church in your will.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1


Diana Aranda-Curtis said...

It brought back memories for me as I was baptized on an Easter Sunday. And I know that many former and present members gave, so that I could hear the Gospel of Christ and make that decision to follow Him. I believing in giving even if it is a small amount because God will use everything for the glory of His kingdom.
It was so wonderful to have my oldest son and my daughter-in-law there this Easter Sunday. There is nothing as wonderful as worshiping the Lord with your children. God continues to bless me.

Jorge Zayasbazan said...

Diana, your comment reminded me of the generations present at worship at Easter. There were multiple families where four generations were present.