Pastor’s Ponderings


Dear Families and Friends of Woodmar UMC,

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Writing for the January 2018 Pylon the week leading up to Christmas is challenging!  There are many squirrels in my office. (If you haven’t seen the movie UP, you will need to watch it to understand the reference to squirrels!) Even with the many distractions and sparkly things that are catching my eye, I keep hearing the word “faithful.”  More specifically, “God is faithful.”

By the time you are reading this, Christmas will be “over.” But, Christmas is never truly “over.”  Oh, we may have put away the tree and the decorations, but the true meaning of Christmas…Emmanuel, God with us…will never be “over.”

John Ylvisaker gives us a beautiful picture of God’s faithfulness…Emmanuel, God with us, through his hymn I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry. Are you familiar with it?  Please read these beautiful words written as if God were speaking:

“I was there to hear your borning cry, I’ll be there when you are old.

I rejoiced the day you were baptized, to see your life unfold.

I was there when you were but a child, with a faith to suit you well;

in a blaze of light you wandered off to find where demons dwell.

When you heard the wonder of the Word I was there to cheer you on;

you were raised to praise the living Lord, to whom you now belong.

If you find someone to share your time and you join your hearts as one,

I’ll be there to make your verses rhyme from dusk till rising sun.

In the middle ages of your life, not too old, no longer young,

I’ll be there to guide you through the night, complete what I’ve begun.

When the evening gently closes in and you shut your weary eyes,

I’ll be there as I have always been with just one more surprise.

I was there to hear your borning cry, I’ll be there when you are old,

I rejoiced the day you were baptized, to see your life unfold.”

This hymn, in turn, reminds me of Psalm 139 where the Psalmist speaks of God knitting him together in his mother’s womb, and that there is no place he can go that God is not there. Again, God is faithful. No matter what happens to us or our loved ones…no matter how unfair this earthly life seems, God, in God’s great mystery, is faithful.

My prayer for all of us as we begin a new year together is that we will pause long enough to notice all the ways (big and small) that God is faithful…  that no matter what happens in this life, we will feel and know the presence of Emmanuel, God with us.

Happy New Year!

Living in the Grip of God’s Grace,

Pastor Esta