Search our site:
Come and join us!
Sunday Worship: 9:00 AM
(Sunday School following)
You are welcome to join us on Sunday, or stop in for a chat! We want to meet you!
Sermons on youtube
Follow link to our church page on YouTube www.youtube.com/channel/UCnpbY7F22hfvI57xu-x8Lzg/featured
On the Journey...
Monthly Insight From Pastor Phil Yoder
September 1 2020
All of us have our little treasures, don’t we? A family heirloom, a dish from grandma, a quilt mom made, Grandpa’s Bible, a trinket we carried home from a trip, a collection. To the rest of the world these things may not be anything special, but to us they connect us to a special experience, or to a memory, or to a person, and we treasure them. They have a particular value to us that the rest of the world doesn’t see. And when our treasures are in danger of being lost or stolen, frequently people will try to keep them safe by hiding them.
When I lived in Maryland, I knew a lady who was born in Poland and grew up there during the Second World War. Her family ended up in a refugee camp, and that is where she met a young Mennonite PAX man who was from my community, and they eventually got married. Ruth has a very fascinating and emotional story. She tells of the time when her family knew that the battle front of the war was coming through their village, they took all their valuables and buried them in a box in their yard and then fled for their lives. After the war, they went back to reclaim their buried treasures. But what they found, was that the villages in the area had been bulldozed, the trees were gone, the roads were gone, the people were gone, and the landscape had changed so much, they couldn’t even find the village where they once lived. She described it as visiting a foreign country where they didn’t recognize any place.
I have heard numerous stories of Christians in the Soviet Union who hid their Bibles when Bibles were being confiscated. People hid them in the ground, in secret places in their houses, and many other places. I met a lady in a village in Ukraine who told me that one day she was baking bread when she saw some government officials coming up the driveway to her house. She knew they were coming to search the house for their Bible. So, she took their family’s Bible and put it in some of the dough and baked it in the oven as the officials searched the house in vain for the Bible.
It might surprise you to learn that God has treasures too. And what are God’s treasures? SURPRISE! It’s us! It is you and me! It is His people. Isaiah 49:16 (NIV) reads, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands,” implying how precious God’s people are to Him. You don’t need to worry that God will forget you. You are His treasure.
The Scripture also tells us that God has hidden His treasure so it can never be lost or stolen. We read in Colossians 3:3-4, “For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Our new life in Christ, that is the New Birth, our spiritual life, is so precious to God that He hides it. Our life in Christ cannot be confiscated or destroyed by an enemy, it cannot be lost, it is hidden. It is so well hidden and is such safe keeping that even death cannot touch it.
Our spiritual lives, our faith, our faithfulness to Christ, our growing in Christ, practicing spiritual disciplines even when we don’t feel like it, the struggles that shape and form and develop our faith, our persistence in walking with God through the most difficult of times in life when it feels like the whole world has turned upside down, these are the things that God treasures, because these are the things that grow the life of Christ in us.
And then one day, when Jesus returns and everything is revealed, and that which has been hidden is brought out into the open, not only will our hidden life in Christ be revealed, but it will be revealed as having great glory because it is tied to the glory of Jesus. Our life in Christ, which we are feeding, and growing, and developing today, will turn out to be glory in the life to come. To the world, our life with Christ, our devotion to Christ, our prayers, and our clinging to the promises of God through times of trouble, trials, and doubts seem like wishful thinking and a waste of time, but will one day be revealed as great glory in the age to come.
BY PHIL YODER