Firstly, I would like to wish you a happy anniversary! By the grace of God this local body of Our Blessed Savior has been standing firmly in San Gabriel Valley for forty-three years. As a fellowship, this church has actually been around a few years longer because when I came to this country in 1978, our beloved Oom John had already begun Sunday services. We thank God for His bountiful blessings upon us.
As he studied the Bible, Daniel Henderson observed that there is something in common among those used by God. In his book, Old Paths New Power, he shares his finding and sums it up in one simple phrase: “The Lord was with him.” I cannot agree more. We might think that the key to their so-called successes was their talents and abilities, but the fact is, “No.” Their experiences and abilities were absolutely useful in carrying out the work of the Lord, but they were not essential and definitely not the reason why God called them and used them. The key to their so-called successes in carrying out the work of God was simply because the Lord was with them.
Our Blessed Lord has been with us ever since the inception of this church. The fact that He has been with us all this time does not make this church of ours a perfect church. No, far from it. This body of Our Lord Jesus is a redeemed body, not a perfect body. It’s been redeemed from sin, which means this body consists of sinners who have been redeemed, and at times still beset by sins and failures. And I am not only talking about you; I am also talking about me.
But you have always been patient with me; you have tolerated me and accepted me. And not only me, but you have also been patient with each other. You try your best to move beyond mistakes; and instead of dwelling on the past, you look to the future with hope. And hope is, in the words of Lewis Smedes, “a faith in what can be.”