I wrote this my senior year in high school 1984. It is written in my own hand on stationary. These were the days before personal computers and word processors. I am not even going to correct some of my grammar as there are few errors.
My church, Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth, had a youth week every year where the youth would learn about all of the jobs done in a church from Sunday School teacher, deacon, Music Minister and even the Pastor. During our days in high school, our church went through times when we would have interim ministers; youth, education, music and pastor.
As a senior, I was the interim pastor along with two of my fellow seniors, John Lively and Layne LeBaron. I think my sister, Elisabeth, was the Children’s Minister that year. (She too was pastor her senior year.)
The following is the “meditation” I wrote for the Sunday morning service, April 8, 1984:
In all times and in all ways, God has revealed Himself to man as an eternal God. In Exodus 3:14, GOd spoke to Moses in a burning bush saying
I Am who I Am; thus you shall say to the sons of Isreal, I Am has sent me to you.
In Mark 14:60-62, Our Lord Jesus is on trial before the Sanhedrin. It reads
And the high priest arose and came forward and questioned Jesus saying, ‘Do you make no answer to what these men are testifying against you?’ But He kept silent and made no answer. Again the high priest was questioning him and saying to him, ‘Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed One? And Jesus said, ‘I Am and you shall see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power and coming with the clouds of heaven.
God reveals himself in Revelations 1:8 through the triumphant Christ. He proclaims
I Am, the Alpha and the Omega, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.
In each of these passages, God is showing that He is always the same and is always here.
To us, this time is an interim time; stuck between the now and the not yet but God sees it as the next step in His neverending plan. We see the timelessness of God spoken to Moses, spoken to the world by Jesus Christ and spoken to John by the glorified Christ. Where we find ourselves between the coming of the Holy Spirit and the triumphal return of our Lord so we find ourselves in an interim. We find Broadway in an interim but through the Holy Spirit we hear God say to us, “I AM!” He is saying the same thing to us He has said throughout the ages. I AM—WITH YOU—ALWAYS.
He sees those of us here as part of that unending line of faithful believers, all witnesses of HIS faithfulness reaching back to the beginning of time and forward to the time of His return.
In Hebrews 12:1-2 we are described as running a race with Christ as the starter and the finisher.
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Broadway has been a part of that cloud of witnesses. I started out on the cradle roll and I can’t remember a time when Broadway was not ministering to me. Broadway gave me my first Bible before I could even hold it let alone know how important it would be in my growing up.
My cloud of witnesses ranged from ministers, Sunday School teachers, Training Union leaders, Mission Friends, GA and Acteen leaders and everyone else who through their Chrsitian lifestyle has shown a young girl how to grow to become a woman of God. I thank each one of you for that. I love this church, each one of you. My prayer is that Broadway would continue to be that kind of witness.
[Adult Amy says: IT STILL IS!!!]
As we the youth stand between childhood and adult hood, it looks like a long road out into the future. How can God and I ever make it? [Praise God, we have.] But then, we reflect back on our childhood and realize that in that same number of years, God has made it fly by.
As a church, it also seems like we are caught in the middle but God is looking at the whole picture and seems to say, “Look at what I can do but take it just one day at a time. ” God is with us on a day to day basis and we can live our lives through Him in that same manner.
Our God is not an interim God. He is with us now in our daily walk. He was with the church in the past and He will be with us forever. Colossians 2:6-7 tells us that we much be about our Father’s business.
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
[I then gave an invitation to join the chruch which I will leave out.]
My 18 yr old self was right. As I stand here 26 years later, it is great to be reminded that God is not an interim God. He is the same today, yesterday and tomorrow. 26 years from now when I am 70 years old. I pray that I will continue to hold on to the one who has brought me this far and the one who will one day lead me home.