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Friday, October 14 Devotional from Pastor John Hartman

Friday, October 14, Devotional from Pastor John Hartman.
From the Pastor
“From the Mountain”
One of things I got to experience while away in Washington State this week was a hike with my seminary buddies up Mount Rainier. At 14,410 feet high, Mount Rainier is the tallest peak in the Cascade Range and a veritable icon of the Pacific Northwest. The mountain is famous for its profile, visible for many miles in every direction (see the pictures below), with its alpine, glacier-clad slopes.
Our hike was on the Skyline Trail. This trail began at an elevation of 5,400 feet and went up to 7,000 feet. It is considered strenuous, as it is 5.5 miles, and about 4 ½ hours round-trip. We made it to about 6,300 feet, because it was unseasonably hot, our lungs felt like they were going to explode, and we are not as young as we used to be. Going down the mountain took far less time than going up it! Overall, it was a wonderful experience of exercise, conversation, and soaking in the beauty of God’s glorious creation.
It says in Genesis 1:1, “In the beginning God . . .” The “who” of creation is our non-negotiable! There is an absolute distinction between the creator and his creation. And God put everything on earth for a purpose. God said, “Let there be light,” and it was good and it had a purpose. And so it went through the sky and sea, the land and the plants, and the trees.
As Victor Shepherd said, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, -- and everyone on it.”
Now some of you are thinking, “Well John, I like it a lot better when you write about Jesus.” Friends, I am talking about Jesus here. We have those wonderful words from the Apostle Paul in Colossians. He wrote that Jesus Christ “is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created – all things have been created through him and for him – and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:15-17).
So, when you down a pill to cure an ache, look at a mountain range, or take a bite out of an apple, you are admiring the handiwork of Jesus Christ, – the Creator. This means we need people (and this includes us in the church) who are responsible and biblically centered, to get enthusiastically involved in environmental issues. We need to keep the sky blue, the earth green, and the water clean, because the God who holds the universe together, -- is the same God who is also holding you and me.
So, plant a vegetable garden to the glory of God. In the name of Jesus Christ, don’t be a litterbug! Recycle your plastic water bottles, and shout, “Hallelujah!” And just remember, the God who made the heavens and the earth, who made the deepest sea, who made Mount Rainier, who put stars in the sky, is the same God who cares for you and me. God says, “Love me; love my creation.” May all of us be good and conscientious stewards over all that God has made.
This Sunday, October 16, as I am still away in Gig Harbor, Washington with my Princeton Seminary Covenant Group, we are privileged to have Rev. Doug Friant with us in worship. Pastor Friant was with us at Chestnut Level back in August, and we welcome him back again. We will be inside the sanctuary for the 8:00 am service, and of course, at 10:30 am. For the 10:30 service, we will also be broadcasting on Zoom, Facebook Live, and YouTube. Our apologies for last week’s technological glitch that shut down both Facebook Live and YouTube.
Pastor John
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