Monday Morning Meditation 12/30/19

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. Rev. 21:1-6


We stand upon the transition from one year to another.  We are also entering a new decade!  The New Year is a natural time to consider changes in our lives.

As we begin a New Year (and Decade), we should continue to look for God’s new heaven and new earth – to wait with anticipation and hope for one day all will be restored – all will be made new.

And in the meantime, we wait with anticipation and hope for God’s intervention every day, for God is with us – that is His promise.

As you begin the New Year, consider your relationship with God.  Are you experiencing Jesus as Emmanuel?  Seek Him daily, offer your life to him daily, and realize that God’s dwelling place is truly among the people.

May God bless you abundantly in the New Year!


Pastor Bill


Monday Morning Meditation 12/23/19

Matthew 1:23 “Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us.”

For many this Christmas will be hard.  Some have lost spouses, or parents, or other loved ones.  Some are dealing with loved ones on hospice.  Some are facing questions about their health.  For all of you, I have good news.  God is with you.

For many this Christmas will be difficult.  Some are underemployed, or underpaid and struggle with their finances.  Some are seeking a job, while others struggle with their occupational calling.  For all of you, I have good news.  God is with you.

For many this Christmas will be difficult.  Some are in abusive relationships.  Some find relationships hard to develop.  Some are lonely.  For all of you, I have good news.  God is with you.

And I could go on.

We are about to celebrate the birth of Jesus and that makes all the difference.  Jesus is Emmanuel “God is with us” and he promises to remain with us (Mt. 28:8).

As we transition from the anticipation of Advent into the realization of the Incarnation at Christmas, cling to God’s promise.  God is with you.  God loves you.  nativity

And may you find the Hope, Peace, Joy and Love of Jesus Christ this Christmas.

Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 12-16-19

I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the LORD.  Psalm 40:1-3

 It’s nine days until Christmas.  Many are scurrying about trying to get the preparations finished, and some are just starting.  It is a joyous festive time of year.  Or it is supposed to be.

Yesterday a sizable group from the church went caroling.  Unfortunately, due to a family situation, I was unable to attend, which is sad because I love to go caroling.  I was also involved in one of those “church conversations” that tend to leave pastors pretty flat after a really energetic worship service.   When I left the building, I was hardly in the Christmas spirit.

This time of year can be painful for many people.  For some, it is the first Christmas without a loved one.  For others it is a reminder of all we have lost over the years.  Many feel the financial burden of being underpaid, or seeking new employment only to be rejected.  Often health issues flare up in the season. People with food limitations cannot fully participate in the bounty of Christmas foods.  People with mobility issues cannot walk the live nativity, or the Christmas light displays and the list goes on.

Many may be in that “desolate pit” the Psalmist speaks of.

But the Psalmist never remains there. Even the Psalms of lament are filled with good news. Listen to what he says in verse 5: “You have multiplied, O LORD my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you. Were I to proclaim and tell of them, they would be more than can be counted.”

The good news of Christmas is this.  God is with us.  In our pain, in our grief, in our sickness, in our lament, in all of our condition, God is with us.  If you are in the desolate pit this morning, take some time to meditate upon Psalm 40, seek out a song of praise, and allow God to heal you.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 12/9/19

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord
more than those who watch for the morning, more than those who watch for the morning.  Ps. 130:5-6

We are in the season of Advent, a time of preparation, a time of waiting.  But people really do not like to wait.  What happens in a store with long lines?  People get grumpy (like me), people get impatient (like me), people look around to see if they are opening another line, or if a different line is shorter.

What about waiting for a return call, especially when waiting for medical news, or to hear from someone traveling in horrid weather?  We are anxious, we are nervous, we just do not want to wait.

But God knows that waiting is actually good for us.  God has us wait often.  The prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures spoke about the anointed one, the Messiah to come.  And they waited, never to see Him in their lifetimes.

When Jesus came and did not claim political power, even John the Baptist wondered if He was the one – John was waiting impatiently as he sat in prison.


We all have to wait for things.  Sometimes it is minor, such as waiting in that supermarket line, sometimes it is huge, like waiting by the bedside as a loved one returns to God.  But in all of this waiting, One remains with us.  The Psalmist said “in his word I hope” and that is huge.  For God’s word reminds us constantly and consistently that God will be with us.  His promise is to be with us “unto the end of the age.”  The Holy Spirit dwells within us.  The Son is called Emmanuel, “God with us” for a reason.

Today you may be waiting for something.  Hope in God’s word, for there you will find the promise.


Pastor Bill

Monday Morning Meditation 12-2-19

A voice of one calling: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God.  Isaiah 40:3

The Prophet Isaiah proclaimed these words in the 8th century B.C.  John the Baptist echoed them at the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.  They are ancient words that continue to have great meaning and significance to our lives as followers of Christ.

We have begun the season of Advent, the four weeks before Christmas.  Advent is a time of preparation, a time to prepare to receive again the Christ Child, and to prepare for His return.

But as I said in worship yesterday, preparation is not about stockpiling food and water for the “end times” rather we are to prepare ourselves to both expect God and say “yes” to God at all times.

Look again at Isaiah’s words:  “Make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”  Don’t just expect God to crash your party, rather make it easy – give God a straight access to your all.

As you travel through this Advent season, be prepared for God.  Expect God.  Say “yes” to God.

Peace (Hope, Joy and Love)