2020 in the Rearview Mirror

David Yetter

District Executive Minister, Converge PacWest

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Have you ever experienced a year crazier than the one now in our rearview mirror? [And, by the way, what a start to 2021, right?!]

Let’s take a fresh look at a line from Scripture that suggests what we might find glancing back at 2020: Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life (Psalm 23:6a).

As you know, Psalm 23 begins with this legendary line: The LORD is my shepherd. What follows in that Psalm are the three results of following our Shepherd:

1.    Contentment (1b-3). We live in such a dissatisfied and materialistic age. And all God’s children said, “Amazon Prime!” But when the LORD is our Shepherd, He brings material and spiritual contentment.

I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

2.    Comfort (4). Verse 4 is the go-to passage for spiritual comfort when grieving. The game/life-changer is “You are with me!”

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, 
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

3.    Challenge (4,5). In Psalm 23, we rarely focus on the challenge of following the LORD, but it’s clearly here.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table 
before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

Note how the LORD leads us into and through dark (dreadful and dangerous) valleys, and He seats us where enemies abide. There’s more to being in the LORD’s flock than taking naps and sipping refreshing beverages!

The summary, verse 6, revisits the refrain of Comfort, whether we’re glancing back or looking ahead.

Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Here we see two things and themes are woven into the life of Shepherd-followers: God’s goodness (tov) and love (chesed). Undeniably 2020 was full of chaos and craziness: pastors were labeled killers or cowards, racists or Marxists, and they spoke out either too much or too little on social issues. But a closer look back helps us also detect and reflect on God’s goodness and enduring, pursuing love. And all God’s people said, “Oh, man!” This reminds us of the New Testament passage that speaks of God’s consistent, persistent and overcoming love that sticks to—and with—us even when we’re having a hard time holding it together; kinda like the saying, “It’s OK to fall apart sometimes. Tacos fall apart, and we still love them.” Even better: God’s love and goodness never pause.

For Converge PacWest, we saw the goodness and love of the LORD in tumultuous 2020 through:

New ministers and ministries joining TeamPacWest!

Exter & Lisa in Davis                     Chad & Karen in Concord

Andrew & Mariava in Stockton      Micah in Stockton

Kevin & Brooke in Fresno             Memo & Petra in Union City

Eugene & Cassandra in Antioch

The Executive Minister Search Team… & more!

Seasoned ministers and ministries being renewed:

Terry (and Danny) Ramos at Community Bible in Madera: Terry is experiencing God’s love and goodness through healing after five surgeries, a gloomy prognosis, and 6-weeks in the hospital.

Scott Borman and Sandy Brown, pastors at NewCov in Fresno: After the difficult twists and turns of ’20, they come into ‘21 with a strong sense that God grew and equipped them for what’s next.

Jeff Harrington, Interim Pastor at East Valley: He's witnessed a church and leadership team recover from a devastating divide to show signs of life and a future.

MANY more!

Unanticipated provision!

As you look back, where do you see the goodness and love of your Good Shepherd? Let us know!

David Yetter, District Executive Minister, Converge PacWest

David has served as district executive minister of Converge PacWest since 2009. He is a graduate of Biola University and Dallas Theological Seminary and is currently pursuing a doctorate at Talbot School of Theology. David has served Christ’s church and Converge churches for over 35 years in rural, urban and suburban settings, in churches sized 25 to 4500, and in church plants and established churches.

Additional articles by David Yetter