Our Plans and the Lord’s Plans

From Rev. Erik Buss, Assistant to the Pastor
February 26, 2019

We need to plan for the future; we know that. We plan our finances, our vacations, and our fitness goals. We plan for Christmas, for how we raise our children, and for our careers. Bryn Athyn Church is also working on a strategic plan so we can achieve our goals better.
But what are our goals? As a church that follows the Lord they should be, at the deepest level, the kinds of goals the Lord sets out for us. In Psalm 139, we read about the Lord’s detailed plans for each of us. The Psalmist writes, “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” The Lord know us and has a plan for us, and He does for His church too. And in the Heavenly Doctrines we read, “It should be recognized that Divine providence is overall, that is, it is present within the smallest details of all, and that people in the stream of providence are being carried along constantly towards happier things, whatever appearance the means may present.” (Arcana Coelestia 8478:4) This is important because it’s not as if the Lord gives us the big picture and asks us to handle the rest. He’s deeply involved in leading us through the details too.
Part of our planning process, then, is to trust Him. The way we trust Him is by following what He teaches in His Word. “‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says Jehovah. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’” (Isaiah 55:8-9) Our most important goal is to find out the Lord’s thoughts, and to make His ways our ways.
So this is our deep goal as we plan: how can we serve the Lord in what we do? And then we try to put plans in places that take His timeless, perfect truth and give it application now in the early part of 2019 in the Bryn Athyn area.
This is what we are doing as a community right now. If you would like to participate, you can see the announcement on page 1 for details on the upcoming community meeting to discuss the survey related to our planning process. I hope you’ll come to this meeting which is scheduled this Wednesday, February 27, at 7:30 pm at the Bryn Athyn Cathedral.

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