Pastors Letter – April 1, 2020 – Is Anything New?

Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.

Ecclesiastes 1:10

Dear Church and Friends,

While I was pursuing my doctorate I remember feeling the hubris of thinking that no one had ever considered my arguments before. Then my professor, not so gently, burst my bubble by showing me the multitudes of researchers who published generations before me.

In our vanity, we are prone to think that our experience is new. In truth, it is only new to us. Our field of vision is small and yet we think it takes in the entire world and all of world history – it doesn’t.

So what does that have to do with our current situation? While this mutation of the corona virus may be novel this is not the first time humanity has dealt with a plague. Nor is it the first time the church has found itself in the midst of a suffering population. So, what do we do? We do what we have always done, we pray and work for the welfare of others.

Ecclesiastes is the written journal of a researcher. Solomon tells us plainly in chapter one what his research is all about. He lays out his hypothesis, subject, laboratory, and control value. The most important thing to remember is, that everything said in the book is to be read through the lens of “under the sun.”

I have provided an outline of chapter 1 of Ecclesiastes that will help with your meditation of this interesting section of God’s Word.

Prayer Request: Please pray for our missionary, Jonathan Santiago. Also, please be in prayer for Bill Lyons. The house Bill and his family were renting was lost due to a whole house fire. He said they escaped with only the clothes on their back. If you have any personal items you can offer the Lyons family, please call and let Bill know. I have listed his new cell number in the email.

Special Needs Requests: Yesterday I asked that you consider buying a few extra canned goods during your weekly shopping trip. I promised a list of things to buy (these are just suggestions; I’m sure you’ll think of others as well.)

  • Canned: fruit, veggies, meats, soup, and sauces.
  • Boxed: cereals, pasta, instant meals, mashed potatoes, pudding, and jello.
  • Jars: peanut butter, jelly, and spaghetti sauce.
  • No perishables.
  • No personal care items.

Creek Road Baptist Pulpit: Sermon preached on March 8, 2020.

Catechism: The Principles of the Christian Religion.

  • Question 37: What is the third?
  • Answer: The rebellion of the will; which is wholly bent so sin, and altogether disobedient unto the will of God.
  • Question 38: What is the fourth?
  • Answer: Disorder of the affections, of joy, heaviness, love, anger, fear, and such like.
  • Question 39: What is the fifth?
  • Answer: Fear and confusion in the conscience; condemning where it should not, and excusing where it should condemn.

“To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.”

All my best.

And I gave my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all things that are done under heaven: this sore travail hath God given to the sons of man to be exercised therewith.

Ecclesiastes 1:13

Published by David B. Smith

Author, podcaster, pastor, and Big Pappa to my grandchildren.

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