“That Your Joy May Be Full”
The Apostle John wrote in 1 John 1:4-5, “that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.”
How wonderful to know that it has always been God’s perfect plan for His people to fellowship in joy with one another! Over the last several months, Jennifer and I have been blessed to experience that God’s plan has never changed for His people. He still works through His church to be a source of joy and blessing to others. As we have walked through the long process of interviews, visits, questions, and exams, the Lord has sustained us with a wonderful peace. However, what we didn’t expect as much has been the overwhelming affirmation that we have experienced with each step closer to joining you at Grace Bible Presbyterian Church. Each step, each conversation, each hug, and each handshake have been instrumental in developing a love for Grace and a deepening sense of His call to serve among you. For those of you who prayed, and labored for our coming, may the Lord bless you in a special way, for He has surely used you for His glory.
As the Apostle John wrote about the fellowship of the church being pivotal in our lives as Christians, I think upon the fact that the Lord has used you as a fellowship to be a great source of fullness and joy of which the Scripture speaks. Whether through developing a relationship with members of the church, or simple things like birthday emails, we have been sustained and overjoyed at how Christ has used the men and women of Grace to be blessings to the Hutchinson family. Truly, each of you has been a source of encouragement and blessing to us. For that we are grateful.
So, as we begin to meet each of you and as I begin serving as your shepherd, I would like to begin with a heartfelt, “Thank You!” Thank you for being so kind and gracious. Thank you for caring enough to be diligent in this process of finding a pastor. Thank you for praying for our faith family of the last 10 years, Mountain Community Fellowship. Thank you for loving my wife the way that you have. Thank you for loving my children the way that you have. Thank you Pastor Cook for your ministry to these, your people. May God bless you for your continued faithfulness. Thank you Pastor Casey for your tremendous help and friendship. Thank you Grace Bible Presbyterian Church – truly may “your joy be full”. And may we walk in joy together.
I close with these words from John Calvin, reflecting upon the glorious call to be His people. May our walk together reflect this divine picture:
“All the elect of God are so joined together in Christ, that as they depend on one head, so they are as it were compacted into one body, being knit together like its different members; made truly one by living together under the same Spirit of God in one faith, hope, and charity, called not only to the same inheritance of eternal life, but to participation in one God and Christ.” Amen.
John Calvin Institutes of the Christian Religion (4.1.2)