MEET THE PASTOR
The Rev. Dr. Donald M. Rising joined us as Temporary Pastor on November 15th and will be with us for several months while the search process continues.
Monthly Message From the Study of Donegal Presbyterian Church
“As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, continue to live your lives in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” (Colossians 2: 6-7)
Grass is greening, spring flowers are blooming, greenhouses and markets will soon open with plants for sale. The time for planting has come! I know that some of you have begun planting some things in your garden and are awaiting those plants to pop through the ground. We are excited at the prospect, but we know that there is much more to it than visions of future success and loveliness. There is the preparation needed in the beginning; the duties that must be done continuously and are ongoing; and the work that must be done just at the right time, whenever that may be.
At the beginning we must choose the right plants for the right location and carefully prepare the soil. Work that is ongoing involves watering, trimming, training, and weeding – a task that goes on and on! Finally there is the work that must occur at “just the right time,” such as pollination and eventually, the harvest.
In Paul’s letter to the Colossian church, he paints a picture of the Christian life very much like that above. There are certain preparations that must be done in the beginning. The Christian’s life and salvation begin only when Jesus is planted in us as Lord. Parents, pastors and teachers do this. This is the start. To continue to live, walk, and be rooted and built up is ongoing work. With the Spirit dwelling in us, we continue to deepen our faith through prayer, Bible study, worship, and service to others. We are given greater endurance and strength to weather the heat, drought, and pests that surely come with human life. We are encouraged by our biological and church family, friends, pastors and others.
Finally, at just the right time, we are ready to do the work for which God has called us. And as we do, we give thanks. Our fruitfulness and thanksgiving are the appropriate responses to God’s abundant grace and goodness. While we are not saved by “works,” the Christian life is work: God’s work in us and our diligent and joyful work in response to what God has done in us and for us. Let us remember as we plan, plant, weed, and water over the coming months, this is our life in Christ as well!
Peace and Love!
Please read the Rev. Dr. Donald M. Rising's letter to the congregation upon joining us for a new phase of our ministry.