MONDAY MINUTES With Pastor Chris McCool (July 5, 2021)

For the past two weeks, Sis. Sherri and I have been traveling out West. In fact, this is one of the reasons I was unable to publish an edition of Monday Minutes last week, and also why this week’s edition is one day late, for which I apologize.

While on our vacation, we saw many marvelous sights. Some were manmade, some in nature. In San Francisco, we walked across part of the Golden Gate Bridge, an engineering marvel that was completed in 1937. We also saw the majestic redwood trees of Muir Woods, some of which were seedlings during the heyday of the Roman Empire. On our drive home, we saw the beauty of the desert in Petrified Forest National Park, and a massive meteor crater in the Arizona desert.

All these sights were amazing, and I am so thankful we got to see them. But the most amazing thing we experienced on our vacation was not the man-made structures, or even the natural wonders, but rather the blessings of the fellowship of God’s Kingdom!

We were blessed to worship on the last Friday in June with the Golden Gate Primitive Baptist Church in Fremont, CA. The church building is nestled among the hills of Northern California, about an hour’s drive from San Francisco, but even the church’s beautiful setting was dwarfed by the outpouring of the Spirit we experienced! The preaching was fantastic, and the fellowship heavenly! Even though we were thousands of miles from home, Sherri and I felt right at home – because, in fact, we WERE at home! Anywhere the Kingdom of God is found, we fine ourselves at home!

After this, we journeyed to Las Vegas, to worship with the sweet saints of the Las Vegas Primitive Baptist Church. Due to COVID, they are still meeting in the home of some of the members. How amazing that, even in this city built by men for purposes other than worship, we nonetheless found ourselves feeling at home again! We had sweet services of fellowship, singing, and preaching, and left there feeling once again refreshed.

Finally, we took our travels to Fort Worth Texas, where we were able to worship with the Chambers Creek Association of Primitive Baptists at Indian Oaks Primitive Baptist Church. Once again, we felt right at home! The sweet saints here treated us like royalty, and the singing was otherworldly! And like the feeling we had in San Francisco and Las Vegas, we felt ourselves to be at home again.

Even though we traveled thousands of miles away from home, we still felt at home with these precious churches. How can this be? Simply put, by the grace of God!

You see, even though we were away from home, we got a little taste of home with these sweet church folks. Friends, the church is the only place in this world where we can get a little taste of our future home! Christ established it while He was on earth, and it continues today by the influence of the Holy Spirit.

Paul wrote to the Philippians that “our conversation is in heaven” (Phil. 3:20), which literally means that our “citizenship” is in heaven. That is, we are NOT home here, even though we live in this present world. Truly the world is a difficult place, is it not? The tragedies, trials, and tribulations of life afflict us here, and often would drive us to despair if we didn’t know we have something greater waiting on us. The rest of Paul’s writing to the Philippians reminds us of this: “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Phil. 3:20-21).

The only place of rest we can find for our weary souls is the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are told in Hebrews 11 that we are “strangers and pilgrims” on earth (Heb. 11:13). A stranger is someone who is away from home, and a pilgrim is someone who is living in a foreign country but who is not staying there! Does this not describe the saints of God? We are traveling here in this world, but we are not staying here. Praise God!

Friends, the Church is the ONLY place in this world where we can have a sense of being at home! It is (or should be) a place of rest for the weary child of God.

We in the Primitive Baptist churches desire for God’s children to find rest, not to be worked to death through activities and other nonessentials. Next Sunday, come out and visit a Primitive Baptist church near you, and find the rest that you need for your weary soul!

May God bless you is my prayer.

Elder Chris McCool, Pastor