Pastor’s Letter for November 2023

From The Letter of Paul to the Romans the Apostle Paul writes to the church …

Pastor Jim Martin of St. Matthew United Methodist Church in Weston, WV
Pastor Jim Martin

I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory about to be revealed to us.  For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage of decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.  For in hope we were saved.  Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what is seen?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience (Romans 8:18-25).

Paul is speaking to the suffering that the Roman Christians are experiencing and offering hope to them.  He is conveying to them that God is in charge and that God does indeed know what God is doing.  Paul offers also here words of encouragement pointing to a greater glory that is “about to be revealed.” 

And from The Second Letter of Paul to the Corinthians Paul continues to encourage the church

For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died.  And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.

From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view (from the Greek: according to the flesh); even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view (according to the flesh), we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything has passed away; see, everything has become new (2 Corinthians 5:14-17)! 

For me this means that we are to live by the Spirit of God, that is, the Holy Spirit.  And in so doing, we are set free in Christ to be who each of us is created to be.  Remember the fruits of the Spirit: Love, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Generosity, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control (Galatians 5:22).  So as Paul advises “If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit (Galatians 5:25).  

As we prepare for this new month before us, beginning with All Saints Sunday, November 5th, and concluding the with a time of Thanksgiving, let us set aside time to allow our lives to be a living, breathing prayer offering thanks for what Christ has done and continues to do for us through His presence and resurrection power. 


Pastor Jim