From the Pastor’s Desk

Dear Members and Friends of Evangelical United Church of Christ, 

We drove home from the Great Smoky Mountains last weekend and encountered lots of rain. The down-pours were so heavy at times that it was difficult to see the highway. Several overpasses had trucks, cars, and motorcycles parked underneath waiting for the weather to clear. 

That experience reminds me of a story about someone else trying to drive home in the rain. A lady by the name of Bettie was driving home one evening in nasty weather. It was pouring down rain and difficult to see. She blindly followed the taillights of the car in front of her since it seemed to be going in the right di-rection. Suddenly, the car ahead of her stopped. 

Bettie wondered why the car stopped in the middle of the road like that. She was concerned about getting hit from behind. And then, the lights of the car ahead of her went off! Now Bettie started getting angry and upset. What was this person thinking, stopping in the road, and then turning off their lights like that? 

The person ahead of her got out of the vehicle and walked back to Bettie’s car. She rolled down the win-dow and asked, “What’s the problem? Why are you stopped in the middle of the road like that?” The man calmly told Bettie that they were sitting in his driveway. 

Bettie had chosen to follow the wrong leader. She had chosen to follow someone who wouldn’t take her where she wanted to go. Often in life we have trouble seeing the road ahead. We lose our bearings and then reach out for something to follow, only to realize later that this is not the direction we want or need to go. 

God’s chosen people had made it to the Promised Land after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. The people of Israel didn’t do it on their own, but had God’s help the entire time. The manna sustained them on their journey. The pillar of fire led the way. God’s law gave them a framework of how God’s people were supposed to live. God protected them from foreign armies. God showed the people of Israel where to go and what to do. God’s chosen people had it made! All they had to do was trust in God and follow God’s ways, and in return, God would bless them and make them prosper. 

Unfortunately, once the people of Israel were established in their new homes and living a comfortable life, they forgot about that covenant with God. They chose to establish armies, elect a king, and establish trade agreements because that’s what all the other nations were doing. God’s chosen people forgot to take care of the poor and underprivileged in their midst. It wasn’t long before they found themselves lost in the dark with no clue where to go. 

Following the recent trends or fads sounds like a good idea at the time, but before long we may find our-selves lost and in the dark. There must be something more substantial to follow. As we try to navigate our way through life, we can always focus on the light of Christ to show us the way. His ways will never lead us down the wrong path. 

With the greatest of hope! 

Pastor Bill