À La Rentrée 2020

Today is that day in France when summer officially comes to an end. Long holiday vacations are over. Students head back to school. Parliament regathers for its work. Everything starts up again. A return to the real world of responsibility.

In our country, it is Labor Day that signals the change in seasons. It seems like that ought to be today for us as well, but we have an extra week this time. Soon enough, though.

It doesn't feel like we really had a summer this year--only a very, very long Spring. So, I don't think I am going to miss it like I usually do or mourn its passing. We went to the beach, yes--but it was a different experience from any we have known before. We enjoyed nights out on our deck, eating and talking--but our guest book has only a fraction of the names in it that we normally have. We were mostly eating and talking with just ourselves.

A new beginning now? Well, I am ready for that.

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on...." Phil.3:15,16.

Talk about a fresh beginning: we will be entering our new building in just a few short weeks now! I call it the "new sanctuary," even though it is actually a renovation, because so much has changed with the way it will look and perhaps feel when we worship there. It is certainly beautiful and functional, bright and warm, as you can see in the virtual tour I gave just a few days ago by clicking HERE.

I almost said "I can't wait"-- but we have waited years, haven't we? Needless to say, I am so excited that the time is just about here.

There will be new ways of doing ministry, too. Our clear objective: to connect people with one another and with God, and to equip all our folks to serve the Kingdom and to share the gospel.
We have started to regather for Sunday worship. We had our best in-person attendance this past Sunday, but it is going to be a slow rebuild, I know. (I noted in my personal journal that I am preaching now, face to face, to the same number of people I did 45 years ago in my first church). But First Baptist, Alexandria, is strong and faithful, and it will happen.

And speaking of preaching-- this Sunday, September 6, is the beginning a new series of talks entitled Go Fish! It will be an exposition of the fascinating book of Jonah. We will look at the first chapter this week. Even if you are on a final summer vacation to the mountains or the beach, tune in at 9 or 11 AM and hear the first message. Since it is a story, each one will build on the other.

I am ready for the cooler nights of Autumn. The turning leaves and the brisk air that will be here soon. La Rentrée a new start. But this year I want it to also mean the beginning of a new, fresh walk with God. Moving forward, positively, into whatever He has for me.

For us.

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