Pastor Linda Settles
A Charge to Keep
There are things that remind us of places, people, and times. Valentine’s Day reminds us to love others well and to celebrate those we love. Thanksgiving reminds us to give God thanks for family, friends, and good food! And Christmas reminds us of the love of God who sent the gift of His only begotten Son to save us.
And there are people who bring wonderful memories to mind. A beloved grandmother who always snuck you an extra treat. An uncle who was the life of the party, even if it meant scaring the wits out of you by making monster noises and walking around like Frankenstein! A Sunday school teacher who saw something in you. A pastor who ministered to you when your loved one died. Precious memories.
There are people who’ve been there for us, encouraging, supporting, cheering us on in our faith and in life. Their faith had been impacted by someone, and they were diligent to pass on to us what they had received. It was a charge to make sure that the gospel didn’t die with them. The same charge that was given to the Israelites.
“But take care and watch yourselves closely, so as neither to forget the things that your eyes have seen nor to let them slip from your mind all the days of your life; make them known to your children and your children’s children…”
What happens when faith isn’t imparted to new generations? The church experiences decline as younger generations find other things that feed them. And we wonder why they’re not in church. Friends, we too have a charge to keep and a God to glorify! When Charles Wesley wrote the hymn A Charge to Keep, he based it on Matthew Henry’s commentary notes that read as follows:
“We have every one of us a charge to keep, an eternal God to glorify, an immortal soul to provide for, needful duty to be done, our generation to serve; and it must be our daily care to keep this charge, for it is the charge of the Lord our Master, who will shortly call us to an account about it, and it is our peril if we neglect it. Keep it ‘that ye die not’; it is death, eternal death,
to betray the truth we are charged with.”
Wesley also grounded the hymn in Scripture:
“…keep the Lord’s charge so that you do not die,
for so have I been commanded.”
This hymn is a call to commitment to follow Christ and to pass the glorious message of the Gospel on to others. We are called to save “a never dying soul” and to “fit it for the sky.” What a charge!
On Sunday, we will celebrate All Saints Sunday, a time when we will remember those who kept the charge and made a difference in our lives. We will also honor our veterans, as Veterans Day falls on November 11, and they too kept their charge. So, if you are a veteran, or know someone who is, invite them to join us.
We will also celebrate Holy Communion, which reminds us of the love of Christ and our charge to spread that love to the world. I look forward to being with you on Sunday at 10:00 am for the sermon: A Charge to Keep. If you cannot attend in-person (masks optional) our online worship is available at www.umcgt.org.
History in the Making! If you are able to help restore the “African School House No. 4,” the oldest surviving one-room schoolhouse for African Americans in Missouri, we are signing up folks who want to be a part of history in the making! We will do this wonderful restoration on November 19. Look for an email to sign up or call the church office at 314-469-6740.
Dondo Home Update on November 13, Rev. Wayne Lavender from the Foundation 4 Orphans, will be our guest speaker. Rev. Lavender will be fresh from Mozambique, and will update us on the Dondo Home and future plans for it!
Organ Update We will dedicate the new organ on November 20 in a glorious time of praise and worship! Thank you to all who donated.