Our family has something to be thankful for, and to thank you for this month. Many of you have been party to this, and some the initiators of it, but for those who may not be aware this congregation started a conspiracy of sorts. You decided to appreciate me, and my family.
It’s the kind of conspiracy you can be thrilled to take part in because it’s not a conspiracy to bring someone down (which is what conspiracies are often about), but it was a conspiracy to lift someone up. As the one on the receiving end, let me say, you did it. We have been very encouraged and uplifted by your generosity.
The worshippers at Holy Cross made, bought, delivered and installed new patio furniture on our deck, complete with couch and a beautiful hand-made fire table, a new barbeque grill, and cover to keep it all dry in the weather. In the mean time a load of wood and materials was delivered and over the next three weekends crews from Holy Cross were in our backyard erecting a stunning pergola over our deck. It’s tremendous. It was like adding a new living room to our home. We are truly humbled and thankful beyond words. So we’ll put it into the only two we know to use, “Thank You.”
The surprise expansion of our living space reminds me of a passage from one of the sermons I shared with you over the summer from the second chapter of Zechariah. Zechariah saw a man (it was an angel though he did not yet know it) with a measuring line in his hand and when Jeremiah asked, “Where are you going?” The man (angel) replied, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length.”
Our deck by the way is about 19’ by 11’ and the pergola is over an 11’ by 11’ section.
Then another man appeared and Jeremiah realized they were not men but angels and the newcomer said to the other, “Run and say to that young man (Jeremiah), Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of people and livestock in it. And I will be to her a wall of fire all around, declares the LORD, I will be the glory in her midst.”
What has been added to our home, by you, is a room without walls. We can sit and enjoy the breeze, the sunshine, the crisp mornings, and the cool evenings, with a view of the changing fall colors on the aspens and tamaracks which we planted in our yard when our children were young enough to play in the dirt while we planted them.
The message to Jeremiah was that in the day of God’s redemption, God’s people would no longer need to wall themselves in. There would be no need to keep people out, God’s salvation would be for all. There would no need to hide his glory, it would be for all to see. There would be no need to seek the protection of walls, the Lord would provide for the safety and peace of his people all around. In Zechariah’s day there would be a feeble wall rebuilt around Jerusalem, Nehemiah would soon build it. But one day the Messiah would come to tear it down. Ephesians two says “You who were once far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. He himself is our peace, who has...broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.” So now it’s our role as Paul said there to the Ephesians, to “preach peace to you who are far off and peace to those who are near for through him [Jesus] we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.”
So it’s more than just deck furniture and a pergola that you’ve given us, but a reminder of our Savior, of his peace, and his calling every time we sit out there in our new living room without walls.
Thank You, In Jesus,
Pastor Mike & Jen, Micah & Moriah