Dear Church Family and Community,
This past Saturday, I was part of the team of HBIC representatives at the Atlantic Conference Annual Meeting. This family reunion affords us the opportunity to connect and fellowship with other BIC churches in our region that spans from the Harrisburg area throughout the northeast states. It’s a blessing to be with Christian sisters and brothers and to hear how God is working and moving in and through their people, congregations and communities. Bishop Bryan Hoke and his team did a good job of celebrating the work our conference is doing, of previewing some exciting things happening across the conference, and of covering necessary business.
The theme of the morning was partnership, and I was blessed to be able to share about the role that partnership plays as we pursue the mission and vision God has given us here at HBIC. Partnership is one of our values, and also part of our lifeblood. I also got a chance to share about our work with Mission of Mercy. It is amazing to recount how we had this dream of providing medical care to many in our neighborhood who couldn’t afford it. This was a dream that started and stopped a few times before falling to the backburner. Nevertheless, God is faithful, good, and true. At the appointed time, God introduced us to Mission of Mercy, and now, just over four years later, the mobile medical and dental clinics consistently serve hundreds in our community. How great is our God!!
This past Sunday, we concluded our After God’s Own Heart: Lessons from the Life of David series. It has been a joy and blessing to journey through the life of David these last few months. I am grateful to all of you who have engaged weekly with the text, prayed to prepare for each service, and then let the Spirit raise and answer questions for you and even through you.
David is beloved all these years later because he can remind us of all we are and all we can be. We may fall, but our God is there to pick us back up. We may face giants, but our God prepares us for battle. We may sin and sin greatly, but our God is merciful and His grace always abounds much more than our sin. And as we live, God will consistently invite us to answer the following: “Do you trust Me now?”, “Can you trust Me more?,” and “Will you trust Me now, even in this?.”
David’s life reminds us that God is the hero of the story. David’s life invites us to let God continue to be the hero of our story as well. To conclude our series, we ended with the final story in David’s narrative – building the altar on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. Here we learn the message to Israel, only a king who loves God and possesses a heart like David’s is fit to lead God’s people. Here we also learn the message to us, that God alone is worthy of our sacrifice, trust, and worship. If you missed hearing this message, please be sure to check it out here on our website, or through our sermon podcast on Soundcloud, Google Play or iTunes.
This Sunday, I am excited for Pastor Lynda to be bringing us the message. She will be sharing on our call to love and care for one another. Like our Christ, we are called to love and serve others with our gifts, our hearts, and even our persons as well. To help prepare for this week’s service together, please take time to read and pray through both I and II Thessalonians. As you read, keep and eye out for and mark downhints of our call to love and care for one another. Also, take the rest of this week to reflect on the following questions: “What does serving God by serving others look like to you?,” “How has God gifted you to serve?,” and “Where is God using you to serve now, or inviting you to serve in the near future?.”
Also, this Sunday we will be hearing a special announcement from Pastor Carmen about our upcoming Easter Outreach event. Our Deacons will be sharing about our Maundy Thursday worship service that is one of the ways we seek to worship God during Holy Week here at HBIC. And speaking of the deacons, we will also include in our service this week a dedicated time of prayer and consecration for our new deacons. These faithful sisters and brothers are a great blessing as they serve our people and congregation with their hearts and service, leadership and gifts. Our deacons bless us, and my prayer is that God continues to increasingly fill them with His compassion and love.
Lastly, I’d like to close with a simple prayer that our Old Testament brother Jehoshaphat once prayed in the face of his life’s greatest challenge: “Lord God, we do not know what to do; but our eyes are upon You.” May our God who sees you continue to greet you with His mercy and grace. May this week’s challenges and obstacles leave you at the foot of Christ’s cross. And with eyes fixed upon Jesus, may your whole life prove that God is good!
May the Lord continue to bless and keep you all!
Pastor Hank (Psalm 34.8)
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