From the Pastor . . .
What does the future hold for Saint Athanasius? Of course, none of us knows. At this time last year, a tree falling on our church building, putting us out for the better part of a year wasn't even on the radar! We started placing a foundation for a deaf mission, but had to put that on hold. We officially reconciled with our brothers and sisters at Immanuel. Several families have left the congregation, but others have come in. The campus ministry at Patrick Henry has revived and better than before, and there is the possibility of a mission start up there with some folks from the town as well! This past year has seen a lot of change.
But what does not change is the faithfulness of our Lord. He has been with us through it all, faithfully feeding us with His Word and Sacrament, strengthening us, disciplining us, and providing all and exactly what we need. We may doubt Him at times, wondering (as is so easy to do!) "What have you done for me lately?" But even this He forgives as He sustains us and blesses us.
And what will the rest of this year bring to us? What new opportunities? What challenges? What joys and sadness? We don't know, but our Lord does, and He has been preparing us and getting us ready for them, so that when they come we will be ready. How great is that? We are being prepared for what we don't even know will happen! Such is our God.
But that's what it's like traveling through the wilderness of this world to the Promised Land of Heaven. Israel didn't know what lay in store for them those 40 years, and neither do we. But as you read that story, it is abundantly clear how the Lord was working for them and taking care of them. Us too.
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, "The Lord has done great things for them." The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad (Psalm 126:1-3).
His servant and yours,