Things Written Before
“For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
Romans 15:4 NKJV
The first Sunday in October we will celebrate the 141st anniversary of the founding of Rose of Sharon Baptist Church. The church was birthed following some brush arbor revivals for the purpose of reaching farmers, farmhands, and laborers along with their families in Northern Durham with the gospel.
In July, a grad student from Duke contacted us about research they were doing on one of the founding members of our church named RM Jones. He was a prominent businessman and leader in Durham. They wanted to know if we had any information on him and his role at the church and if we would share that information with them.
Jonathan and I got out the original books that recorded the minutes of the church business meetings. Sure enough, RM Jones was indeed a founder and leader of our church. As we read through the minutes, we learned a lot about our church. Many times, it was RM Jones who represented the church at association meetings and who made motions to give financially to missions. Jones also was active in the church up to his death in 1917.
Because those things were written, we learned that Rose of Sharon has been true to its founding. We were an evangelistic church that spread the gospel, we were financially supportive of missions, and we were participated in the local association of churches. This is our church DNA and still guides what we do today.
Our church has weathered many storms over the years. From World Wars, the Great Depression, civil unrest, and now the pandemic. What got Rose of Sharon through the tough times of the past, will get us through the tough times we face today. That is a commitment to what was written long ago, even before the founding of our church, the Scriptures.
Paul is writing to the Roman church who is facing unrelentless persecution and widespread dispersion. He reminds the church to look at the things written in the OT Scripture so that they could gain comfort and patience and hope in the trials they are currently facing.
As we continue to make it through this season, we want to take Paul’s advice. Beginning next Sunday, we will start a sermon series based on the 12 Minor Prophets called: “Echoes from Exile: Prophetic Words for Troubled Times.” These books were written before, during, and after the exile. Each Sunday, we will hear a message from a prophet to apply to our current situation.
Our prayer is that you will take the time to read and study the Scriptures and experience the patience, endurance, and hope that they will bring.
I love you and it’s a privilege to be your pastor.