July 26, 2019

Dear Peachtree Road Family,

I hope this note finds you doing well. If you missed last Sunday, you might want to go to the church website and watch the entire service. From the congregational hymns (I didn’t need a hymnal!) to the anthem by the Chancel Choir (“Saints Bound for Heaven”) to the sermon by Elizabeth Byrd to the special music by Andre Peele (“I Don’t Feel No-Way Tired”), it was an inspiring day!

This upcoming Sunday also promises to be inspiring at Peachtree Road as we bring our “Summer in the City” services to a close. Some of you know I spent last week preaching at Salem Camp Meeting in Covington. The nineteenth century open air tabernacle with its sawdust floor flooded my mind with memories of growing up in Thomaston. When I was in elementary school, my dad ran a saw mill, and I vividly remember playing in the sawdust mounds at the mill. My dad had a contract with the railroad company to make crossties, and the scraps were ground up into wood chips (sawdust), loaded into train boxcars, and sent elsewhere. I sometimes went to visit him at work. He would take me in the pick-up truck out into the woods where the crew was cutting timber. Then we would go back to the mill and watch the trees get debarked, cut into sections, and turned over to the sawyer. Finally, I would follow my daddy into the office where he returned phone calls and looked over the financial ledger. When folks asked what the people did at my daddy’s plant, I would tell them they made crossties for the railroad company. It was their business.

I remembered that as I emptied the sawdust out of my shoes last week at camp meeting. Then I wondered to myself: “When people pass Peachtree Road and look at our beautiful buildings and see the many people going in and out, do they know what we do here? What would you tell them?” I hope you would say, “We make disciples of Jesus Christ there.” After all, that is our business.

As Jesus ascended into heaven, he turned to his disciples and said:

Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.

“Make disciples of all nations…” During our services this month, we have been focusing upon what it means to be a Christian disciple. And we have learned that a disciple is someone who knows Christ as Lord and Savior, is growing in Christ through prayer, Bible study, and fellowship, and is serving Christ through outreach and mission.

On Sunday, Daniel Ogle will be preaching as we consider one more characteristic of a Christian disciple – someone who shares Christ with others in word and deed. I am grateful for this month’s reminder that we are in the business of making disciples of Jesus Christ and am looking forward to Daniel’s sermon this week.

I also am looking forward to not needing my hymnal again this Sunday! In addition to the familiar songs, we will be inspired by the Chancel Choir’s anthem entitled “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name,” and Paul Sewell returns to Peachtree Road to offer “A Simple Song” as special music following the sermon. It promises to be a great service. After worship, you are invited to join in front of the church for cookies and lemonade and a time of fellowship.

I hope to see you Sunday as we close out “Summer in the City.”

Bill