It dawned on me this morning that I have officially been at Old Hickory Church of the Nazarene for nine weeks. Nine weeks is how long it takes to hear a baby's heartbeat for the first time. As I remembered the story of hearing my son Wesley's heartbeat for the first time at nine weeks, I realized that I am just now beginning to hear the heartbeat of this church.
At the same time, you are just now beginning to hear the heartbeat of your pastor. With this early excitement of new life for both of us, I cannot express to you the joy that I have in my heart of learning the heart of this church. OHNaz is filled with great people who are devoted to the Lord and the mission of His church.
As we are growing to love each other, I am excited about where we are headed as a church. I am still learning who everyone is, the family connections, the stories of the past, the traditions that have been carried on, and the great expectations that you all have for the future of our church. I sometimes feel like the new "member" of the family who started dating the beloved daughter of the family and everyone is checking me out to see if I am a "good guy" or not.
The verdict may still be out. Either way, I am hopeful that whatever goodness I have is the goodness of the Lord at work in me and through me. What my family and I have experienced from all of you has been a great welcome and wide open arms to this church family. We truly are grateful for your love for us.
As we approach Christmas Sunday this week, I wanted you all to know that you and your families are in my thoughts and prayers. I am praying that the light of Christ would shine brightly in your hearts and lives. I will be continuing the sermon series 742 B.C. this Sunday as we look at the messianic prophecy of Isaiah 11:1-9.
We have every reason to be a people of hope, peace, joy, and love as followers of Christ.