Pastor Mark's Weekly Email, Uncategorized

The Belhar Confession: Why Does It Matter?



As I am getting back in the saddle this week ramping up from a trot to a gallop, I revisited last week’s weekly post, where it reads, “CS Lewis writes about the unexpectedness and unpredictability in life.  He says, ‘For good as for ill one never knows what is coming next.’  Although this can be disconcerting to those of us who like to plan everything out and for everything to go according to our plan.  And when it doesn’t we become irritated or upset.  He goes on to say, ‘There is a brighter side to the same principle.  When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.'”  WOW!

I didn’t expect these words to make such profound impact in less than a week.  I was fully expecting a hard and difficult 100 mile trail run in Leadville, CO this past week.  What I got was a DNF.  Its hard to look at a DNF, especially as driven and competitive as I can be.  And after so much investment and work towards completing this goal, it sure is disappointing.

But as CS Lewis says, “When we lose one blessing, another is often most unexpectedly given in its place.”  That is God’s grace!  While I carry a bit of sadness and disappointment from a goal not reached this past weekend, my heart is filled to overflowing today.  God’s blessings are being poured over me with power and regularity, like the waves that pound the ocean shore.  And when I think I’ve had my fill, God pours out some more.  You need me to tell you the ways?  Just ask me.

So here we go, back in the saddle ready to ride… I have a new motto now, Why would you run when you can bike?  Ha!  Sounds like a motto for life 🙂  Just keep pedaling I say.

Over the past couple of Sunday’s together we have covered the Creeds and Confessions: Why do they matter?  The first week we covered the early Christian Creeds emphasizing the importance and centrality of God in Trinity and the two natures of Christ – the Apostels, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds.  The second week we covered one of our three Confessions, the Belgic Confession, which affirms the central Christian beliefs, birthed out of the Reformation of the 16th Century.  This week we jump forward again to look at one of our Contemporary Testimonies, the Belhar Confession, recently adopted last year by Synod, our governing body.

The Belhar Confession is birthed out of the segregation and discrimination policy and practices of Apartheid in South Africa.  It is a powerful statement of belief by the Reformed churches in South Africa addressing God’s design of unity in diversity especially when it comes to race and socioeconomic differences in the church of Jesus Christ.  This confession packs power and passion as it is born out of much pain and suffering under the atrocities of Apartheid.  The Belhar Confession speaks contemporary gospel truth into our world context today: themes of unity, reconciliation, and justice.

This Sunday, August 26th, we celebrate our recent years with Sydney Yapoujian as our Worship ArtsPastor.  This Sunday will be Sydney’s official final Sunday in her staff role here at Crestview.  However, Sydney and Artine aren’t going anywhere, just shifting priorities of time and commitments at this time in their life together and Sydney/Artine will continue be a regular face in our continued worship expressions and fellowship/leadership at Crestview. We are so thankful for you Sydney!  And as you step away from your official role here at Crestview, we pray for God to bless you and Artine in this decision and pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we search and find the next person to step into this role for us at Crestview.

May the name of the Lord be praised,
Pastor Mark

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