Church | School | Early Childhood

Pastor's Page

August 2023

by Rev. Phillip Girardin

The last few weeks of July have been a rollercoaster as we move into August. Thursday of Vacation Bible School was met with massive storms that left Staunton with power outages, trees down, and all manner of havoc. The same storm moved through Livingston and did even more damage. The next week, the last full week of July it was hot. Crazy hot. Over 100 degrees hot. While we look forward to certain aspects of Summer, some parts of it are just plain challenging.

Isaiah 4:6 tells us: And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain. (NKJV)

In the closing days of July, all we could want was shelter and shade. Shelter from the storm, and shade from the sweltering heat. Two times in my life, I recall the damage of heat, and in both cases, it was absolutely miserable. Multiple times in my life, I recall the damage from storms. The really hard part about both of these things is that when they bear down on you, there doesn't seem to be any hiding. There's nowhere to go, but when that safe spot is found, it is blissful. It's cool, and safe.

Life tends to be this way. We work so hard for things that pass away. We burn ourselves up in the heat of the day to day and lose track of what is important. We rush hither and thither after things that seem like they will make us happy, only to realize that in their space there is no shade, there is no rest. There is only a greater, deeper desire to have more. That greater, deeper desire results in us frequently breaking the 9th and 10th commandments as we pursue after those tangible things. All we have as a consequence is burnt out relationships, burnt out jobs, and burnt-out lives.

Then we contemplate the storms. Marriages begin to fail because people change, and instead of being flexible and growing together, we allow the storm to overtake us. Finances become ragged and destroyed as we live in a world torn apart more and more by the consequences of sin. Like Peter stepping out of the boat, we look at the wind and the waves, and we are driven to despair, and fear becomes our state of being. It's truly a challenge.

Then there's Isaiah. Come to the tabernacle. Come to the tabernacle and get out of the noon day heat. Come to the tabernacle and find shelter from the storm. This is the call of God to us. When the heat of our lives begins to burn, come to Him. When the challenges and difficulties that we face begin to overwhelm, come to Him. He calls us all to His home, His holy abode, His tabernacle as Jesus has saved us from all these challenges. Jesus has overcome the daily grind. Jesus has authority over the storms of life. Come to Him, and there find rest.

The tabernacle of God in the Old Testament was found in a couple places. First it was found in the various altars through Genesis. In Exodus, it was found in the tabernacle of Moses, and later the tabernacle of David, as he restored the old one. Solomon built the Temple, and there God enshrined Himself among His people. Then Jesus came. God Himself tabernacled among us, in our flesh, living our lives. Jesus did it all. He walked in the heat of life for us. He lived through our storms. God Himself tabernacled Himself in our flesh, and we breathe a sigh of relief as we see Jesus. Brothers and sisters, when things become too difficult to handle, remember our theology on communion. Jesus Himself is present in, with, and under the bread and wine. He Himself is there, tabernacled and waiting for you.

Pastor Phil

Church & Worship
School & Education
Early Childhood
Alumni & Friends
Prayer Chains
Support Our School
About Zion
Zion Calendar
Contact Us
Panther Paws
Pastor's Page
Zion Messenger