Get on Board

As I was reflecting this morning on the developments at First UMC during the past two months my heart was filled with praise for God’s sovereign mercy and grace. I believe God led Toby Chastain to us and us to him to be partners in ministry to face our challenges and opportunities with strength. Toby officially became our Associate pastor on August 4. God has acted to equip His Church for Kingdom work in 2019 and beyond.

I was reminded of a hymn we sang often at the rural churches my father served. It begins with a chorus which is repeated between every verse. Each verse repeats the first line two times and concludes with “Get on board, get on board.” Here is the message:

‘Tis the old ship of Zion,
‘Tis the old ship of Zion,
‘Tis the old ship of Zion,
Get on board, get on board.

1. It has landed many a thousand

2. Ain’t no danger in the water

3. It was good for my dear mother

4. It was good for my dear father

5. It will take us all to heaven

‘Tis the old ship of Zion,
‘Tis the old ship of Zion,
‘Tis the old ship of Zion,
Get on board, get on board.

Hymnary.org

The old ship of Zion is the Church of Jesus Christ which will be preserved to the end of time for the conduct of worship and the due administration of God’s Word and Sacraments, the maintenance of Christian fellowship and discipline, the edification of believers, and the conversion of the world.

I have seen God at work at Decatur First UMC fulfilling His promise to sustain the church to land many a thousand by overcoming the danger of the water as it did for our dear mother and our dear father and to take us all to heaven.

Now is the time to get on board and be a part of what God is doing in our church to bring us and many who are lost at sea on board for the eternal destiny we have as followers of Jesus Christ. Get on board, get on board.

Yours in Christ,

Hughey Reynolds

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