Rev. David Bartholomew (our Interim Moderator)

Dear Friends,

One  night  Toscanini,  the  famous  Italian  conductor,  led  the  Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a very difficult piece to direct. So  majestic  was  the  music  that  after  the  finale  the  audience  stood  for  ten  minutes applauding.  Toscanini  took  his  bows  again  and  again  then  turned  to  the  orchestra who also bowed. The audience continued to clap and cheer. Finally Toscanini turned his  back  to  the  audience  and,  speaking  only  to  the  orchestra,  said: “Ladies, gentlemen, I am nothing. You are nothing. Beethoven is everything!”

The  orchestra  and  conductor  were  faithfully  following  the  instructions  of  the composer,  but  the  credit  for  the  beautiful  music  belonged  rightly  with  Beethoven. That is an instructive lesson for us all. The creator has placed us all in this beautiful world  and  given  each  one  of  us  gifts  and  talents. Sometimes  we  can  be  guilty  of taking all the credit for our successes and ignoring the one who gave us life. We try and pretend that he has no call upon our life. But the reality is that he loves us and wants to live his life though us, so that our lives become a symphony of beauty and harmony.  Too  often  we  try  and  live  our  lives  out  of  our  own  resources  and  end  up with too many discordant notes! Regardless of how eloquent or gifted we may be, we are called to throw ourselves at the feet of Jesus Christ and say,  “I am nothing, you are everything!”  And it is when we acknowledge his call upon our lives and open up our lives to him, as a home where his Spirit may reside, that we will find the greatest inner harmony and purpose for our lives.

When men first  learned to navigate the seas by using the stars, a whole new world opened  up  to  them.  It  was  said,  “He  who  is  a  slave  to  the  compass  enjoys  the freedom of the open sea.”

Commitment  to  Christ  is  our  compass.  It  opens  the  door  to  God’s  kingdom  for  us. When  we  commit  our  future  to  Him  and  let  Him  set  our  course,  He  will  direct  us  to places  of  freedom,  fulfilment  and  blessing  that  we  never  knew  existed.  But  first  we must be willing to say, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”

We are called to bow before Him and declare, “Here are my gifts, my abilities and my dreams.  I  lay  them  at  your  feet.  I  give  them  all  to  you.   Take  my  life  and  let  it  be consecrated,  Lord,  to  thee.  Take  my  moments  and  my  days.  Let  them  flow  in ceaseless praise.” That is the way to the greatest fulfilment and contentment. This is not something that we do once, and from then on all is plain sailing. There needs to be a daily resolve and desire to live in relationship with the Lord and walk with him where  he  leads.  And we  find  that  in  the  process  of  seemingly  giving  up  our  life,  we actually receive far more than we ever dreamed of.

I  wish  the  congregation  every  blessing  as  your  Nomination  Committee  continues  to look for a new minister. We may not know what the future holds, but we know that God  holds  the  future  and  can  guide  us  along  good  paths  as  we  seek  his  help  and strength.

With all good wishes.

David Bartholomew
Interim Moderator