We had a great Easter Sunday. Our service at church was wonderful. There were a number of visitors who came out to church this morning. The singing was wonderful as people raised their voices in praise and worship to our risen Saviour. The sun came out promising a wonderful, warm day with more melting.
Then we had a wonderful day with family. Three daughters, one son-in-law and seven grandchildren made a house full of commotion and noise but it was wonderful to have family here to share the day with us. Again, we are so blessed to have our children and grandchildren close enough to share these special times together.
Easter is such a wonderful season of the year. There are many significant Christian holidays, but none so significant as Easter. Christmas and the birth of Jesus would be meaningless if it were not for the death and resurrection. It is the resurrection that gives us hope for eternity.
We had the opportunity to participate in a Christian Passover Seder on Thursday evening at the home of a friend. It was a wonderful experience to see the amazing symbolism in the Passover. There are so many elements of the Passover meal that point to Jesus Christ, the Messiah.
This week we learned of the passing of a wonderful friend from the past. We didn't know her for a long time, but she and her husband attended one of the churches we served. They only arrived in our area a couple of years before we moved on to the church we are at now.
She was a wonderful, generous caring lady who did so much for people around her. Yet she was never looking for acknowledgment or praise. In fact she preferred to be in the background. She and her husband lived in Lacombe at the time and our daughter occasionally stayed in their home overnight, when she had a short time between shifts at her job at the coffee shop, and the weather was poor.
But the most outstanding thing about her was her faith in Jesus Christ. She loved the Lord and relied on Him for strength every day. I will be officiating at her funeral on Tuesday afternoon. It is always difficult to lose a dear friend, but it is a great privilege to be able to share with others how they too can have assurance and confidence in the face of sorrow and loss.
It is almost Easter and I am so thankful for the difference Easter makes for us as believers. First, in the death of Jesus, we are assured that our sins can be forgiven. Then, in the resurrection we have hope--hope for tomorrow and hope for eternity.
It is quite amazing how quickly the time goes. Last Saturday to Monday we had our three grandchildren from Stettler staying with us while their parents went to Banff for some skiing. Since that time it seems like the time has just flown by.
I've been watching curling on TSN whenever I have a chance this week. The Brier, which is the men's Canadian championship, is on in Edmonton this week. I am amazed at the precision of the shots made by so many of the curlers. The technology of ice-making and climate control, and the quality of the rocks and the brooms in recent years, have really made curling a game of not just inches but millimeters. It is interesting to watch the teams discuss difficult shots, trying to decide not only where they want to throw the rock and how hard, but trying to determine the exact outcome of the shot, figuring out exactly where each rock will be situated when the shot is finished. Sometimes it works out just as they planned and sometimes it doesn't.
I can't help thinking about what we are told in the Bible about the handling of the Word of God. Paul told the young preacher, Timothy, "Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15, ESV) The NKJV says, "...rightly dividing the word of truth." Paul was encouraging Timothy to be very careful, to be precise in the handling of the Word.
We live in an age when many are becoming very careless in their handling of the Word of God. For many, including many preachers, the Word of God is seen as little more than a guideline, to help us determine truth for ourselves. It is not viewed as the absolute truth by which we must judge all teaching. For others, the Word can be interpreted to mean whatever we want it to mean in order to meet our needs at the time.
God's Word is absolute truth and our responsibility is to determine what God meant when He said it. Only when we have correctly and precisely interpreted the meaning of the Word, can we then determine how it applies to our lives and what we need to do in response to God's truth.
I noticed on the news last night an item about how busy the financial institutions were yesterday. It was the final day for contributions to your RRSP's to get a tax deduction for 2012. I have to admit that I don't do any last-minute contributions. as it is much easier to contribute on a regular basis throughout the year.
However, as I think about the emphasis many people put on building retirement savings, I am also conscious of the fleeting nature of wealth. In fact, I have often said there is no such thing as "financial security." We can spend a lifetime putting away money in order to be financially set for retirement, but market changes can make it all disappear very quickly.
Jesus said, "Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble." (Matthew 6:31-34)
Yes there is a place for saving and preparing for the future, but ultimately our hope and security has to be centered on God and His faithful provision.
Gordon Rowland has been a Missionary-Pastor with Village Missions of Canada for over 35 years. Gordon and his wife Val have lived and served in Clive since 2001. They have four children and nine wonderful grandchildren.