The beauty of worshipping a God who “knows me completely” – and loves me anyway.

– worship October 23 at HMPC

God! My God! It’s you—
    I search for you!
    My whole being thirsts for you!
    My body desires you
        in a dry and tired land,
        no water anywhere.
 Yes, I’ve seen you in the sanctuary;
    I’ve seen your power and glory.
 My lips praise you
    because your faithful love
    is better than life itself!
 So I will bless you as long as I’m alive;
    I will lift up my hands in your name.

Psalm 63
– Rebekah with pastor Mac (and Aleta) earlier in the summer

This past weekend it was so very good to be back in worship again with our church family! The trip to England was a wonderful adventure in many ways, but our only regret was missing the opportunity to attend church while we were there. The first Sunday we had intended to worship with the Methodists in Rye – but I was sick, and the second Sunday we had to drive through to make our ferry to the Isle of Wight.

So yesterday was our first Sunday in church in three weeks. It felt so right to be home.

It was also great to see pastor Mac again. He arrived back from his three-month sabbatical in Germany, Switzerland, and Italy while we were gone. We had missed his presence, the gravitas of his enthusiastic faith, and his excellent preaching.

Interestingly, his key scripture for the message was the exact same verse from 1 Corinthians 13 I had used yesterday for my Sunday morning devotional post – All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Evidently we’re on the same page!

I was reminded of a phrase Rebekah often uses to describe my love for her; she has said this consistently since before we were married, and it picks up more meaning and deeper truth as the years pass into time. “Derek knows me,” she likes to say, “… and he loves me anyway.”

This is the truth about God, and God’s highly personal and focused love for me – and for you – through Jesus. God knows me and, rather than being repelled by the uneasy and messy and flawed and broken reality that is Derek Maul, God loves me without reservation and without condemnation.

This is good news! Good news for Sunday morning in worship, and really good news every day of the week.

In love, and because love makes this conversation possible – DEREK

– pastor Mac preaching October 23 at HMPC in Raleigh

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