Homecoming Sunday, the first Sunday of November, has become a great tradition at Altadena Baptist Church. People who have moved out of town but are still within driving distance make their way back to the place of their old spiritual roots and fond memories. Sometimes, ABC alums travel from some distance away, making this event part of their vacation planning. Locals who have gotten out of their church attendance habit may see this as an opportunity to renew their commitment to more active involvement in the church and its ministries.
We’ve found it interesting to choose a theme each year to celebrate the gifts God has given to the church and the community through the various members of ABC. This year’s theme will be “Expression through Writing.” We have a number of people in our fellowship who have the gift of writing and have used it to reveal important insights and truths. Some have written autobiographies, others poems, short stories or novels, still others professional journals and even college textbooks. We’d like to celebrate all of these at this year’s Homecoming.
Please send us an email if you are an author of any kind, whether published or not. We don’t want to miss anyone. We’re especially interested in finding out about those of you who have been away from the orbit of ABC for some years, and we may not know of your writing career, hobby, etc. Thanks for helping with this.
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The Creator God is the Great Inspirational Author. Psalm 19 tells about the first chapter of his awesome salvation masterpiece:
The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork;
Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard;
Yet their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. (verses 1-4)
Creation begins a magnificent volume, celebrating God by telling, proclaiming, speech, knowledge and words. The glories that can be read in Nature are also reflected in the revelation given to God’s people through Moses:
The Law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the decrees of the Lord are sure, making wise the simple;
The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eyes;
The ordinances of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. (verses 7-9)
When God actually gave the written Law to Moses, it was summarized on two clay tablets. This dramatic episode is described in this way:
When God finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two tablets* of the covenant, tablets of stone, written with the finger of God. (Exodus 31:18)
(Writers, do you want an inspiration? Here it is: In your writing, try to follow and trace the fingers of God as you see them in your mind.)
The Prophet Jeremiah foresaw a future day when the Law, which is itself a reflection of Creation, would be written into individual human hearts through the miracle of faith:
This is the new covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the Lord,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the Lord; for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:33-34)
And the New Testament author of Hebrews wrote that Jeremiah’s future vision was actually fulfilled when Jesus came into the world to bring about a New Creation:
This is the new covenant that I have made, says the Lord:
I will put my laws in their minds, and write them on their hearts,
And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
And they shall not teach one another or say to each other, ‘Know the Lord,’
For they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. (Hebrews 8:8-11)
God began writing his great novel of salvation when he said “Let there be light,” and his written message has been consistent right up until the recent chapter when he continued that creation by saying “Let there be light” in your heart. That’s good writing.
*Not that kind of tablet, silly.
— Pastor George Van Alstine