Dear Peddie Church Family,
I wish you a very Merry and Blessed Christmas!
I am humbled by God’s mercy in choosing an unworthy vessel to serve Him together with you at Peddie Church. God often chooses an unlikely, unworthy, and weak person so that we might know His grace and power and not be distracted by human abilities.
As I reflect on the journey ahead of us, I am grateful to God for all the laborers in His vineyard: Pastor Tingson, Pastor Hatfield, all the servants of the Lord at Peddie Church, and all the cloud of witnesses who have labored before us. Others have done the hard work, and we are reaping the benefits of their labor (John 4:38).
Above all, God is the One who has sustained Peddie Church for more than two hundred years. Without His grace and power, we could not have survived. Without His purpose, our existence as a church has no meaning. And it is right to begin our new chapter by focusing on the restoration of authentic worship at Peddie Church.
Worship is the most central activity of the church, from which all other activities flow. It’s a channel through which God’s life-giving Spirit flows into the church. At the heart of worship is simply acknowledging the One whom all glory, honor, and praise is due.
One of the challenges in restoring authentic worship is that we are immersed in a massive consumer economy, which cultivates the attitude of self-centeredness even in matters concerning worship. Many Christians have become demanding consumers of worship products, expecting their preferences and emotional needs to be satisfied by the church.
Worship is not about satisfying our emotional needs, but about encountering the living God. God is glorified when we acknowledge Him as God. God is glorified when we come to Him with humble and broken hearts. God is glorified when we surrender everything that hinders our relationship with Him. God is glorified when we call upon His Name with all that is within us.
We worship a God who is gracious and merciful. He delights in reaching out to those who humbly acknowledge how desperately they need Him. He is more than willing to help those who make room for Him in their hearts.
Today at Peddie Church, God is seeking those who would worship Him in Spirit and truth. Let us respond to His gracious calling with willing and grateful hearts. Let us remember to keep the Lord’s Day holy and not neglect so great a privilege of meeting Him. And with the Magi, let us bow down before the newborn King and worship Him.
In the service of Christ,
– Pastor James