by John Armstrong
It is almost time for Thanksgiving! I’m not sure I’ve really gotten started with the new school
year. Time flies by quickly for each of us. People say it seems to go faster and faster the older
you get. I know it goes by plenty fast enough when you are busy. I hope you remember that I
spoke about the Reformation in the October Tapestry. I plan to do so again. Of course, the
difference is that last month we were coming up to the 500 th Anniversary of the Reformation. In
this November issue of the Tapestry we are now moving forward from 500 years to a place only
known to the Lord. As with every endeavor, whether it be getting out of bed in the morning or
going to school, or work, or church, or wherever, we are heading into an unknown future. None
of us knows what the next moment will bring.
For some, the thought of not knowing what is coming, and not being able to control it, is
terrifying. For others, an unknown future is exciting and full of potential. It all depends upon
how you approach it. Will you approach with fear or will you approach with faith?
Approaching the future with faith is what the Scriptures call us to do. Scripture cautions us not
to be presumptive about what the future holds.
Prov. 27:1 Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.
James 4:13   Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a
town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— 14 yet you do not know what
tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and
then vanishes.
We are not to take the future for granted, but we are not to fear either. Here is good news.
Matt. 6:30 But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is
thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?…34 “Therefore
do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the
day is its own trouble.
Why are we to not be anxious? What is that based on? It is based on the character of God that
does not change. There are challenges today in this fallen world, and there will be challenges
tomorrow. Face them as they come, not in fear, because we have a God who loves us and will
guide, provide, and sustain us. Also, you need not borrow tomorrow’s trouble, it will come in
due course. One of my favorite hymns has this stanza: “Be still, my soul; your God will
undertake to guide the future as He has the past. Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know His
voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.”
We’ve seen what the first 500 years of the Reformation has brought, what will the next 500 years
bring for us? Does that question leave you a little unsettled? I hope so. Look at it, it assumes
passivity. God has not called us to be a passive people, we are called to action. The
Reformation came about because people took action. They went back to the original sources and
rediscovered the Scriptures and translated them into our common languages so everyone could
have access to the Word of God. That is our heritage as reformed people. Now, we are called to
continue in that reformation heritage taking the Good News of Jesus Christ out into the world
beginning here in Frederick. As we think about that we are to remember that we are but a mist
that today is here and then vanishes. Let us step out in faith and not fear. Our time is short, so let
us be faithful with that time, as the Lord allows. Semper Reformata!