Dear Church Family and Community,
Hope this finds you all well. I wanted to begin by reminding you about the Munchies for Macha event happening this Thursday-Saturday, at the Sharp Shopper in Middletown. This is an incredible volunteer and giving opportunity to help support the people of Macha, especially in light of such a poor maize harvest this year due to the lack of rain.
There are opportunities to serve by helping to sell the food. There are also two ways you can give. The first is a fifty-cent donation for a hot dog, a bag of chips, and a drink. This incredible value is made even better, as 100% of the funds collected will be donated to the Macha Mission Hospital. The second way you can give is donating directly to Macha in donation containers that will be set out on location. For more information or to serve, please contact Larry Mylin (Lmylin@messiah.edu; 717-951-5248).
I first learned about Macha Mission Hospital and the incredible work being done there through the soccer playing Thuma boys when I was a student at Messiah College. Over the years, I have met and learned about the Spurriers, our own Chris and Marlys Book, and many others. Macha is an incredible Brethren in Christ legacy, but more than that, it’s an incredible answer to our God’s call for us to go and make disciples of Christ, by living and loving like Christ. If you can make it to Middletown this week to aid the people of Macha, that would be wonderful.
This past Sunday, we continued our current sermon series on The Beatitudes entitled, Blessings: Promises of the Kingdom. We focused on Jesus’ second Beatitude: Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. In this promise, Jesus reminds us that when we mourn God’s comfort is present, it unites us with God, and it frees us to be loved by God.
In this world we will have trouble, but praise God that Jesus has overcome the world. On this side of heaven, we will mourn and grieve deeply, but praise God that His Holy Spirit has come and lives in us as our great Comforter. And praise God for the cloud of witnesses and community of believers in our lives – who comfort us in our suffering with their prayers and presence, love and support.
We are blessed when we mourn, because Jesus is with us, even in our darkest rooms. We are blessed when we mourn suffering and allow our hearts to break over things and conditions that break God’s heart break. We are blessed when we mourn because, like Jesus, God can use our scars and wounds to help bring healing to our world. 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, we will continue Blessings: Promises of the Kingdom by looking at the third Beatitude: Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. This Beatitude calls us to a life of humility, in our world of excess. It calls us to self-control and not self-importance. And it calls us to know our weakness while relying on God’s strength. What a blessing that our inheritance comes not from what we have to earn, but from our God, who saves us and grows us daily into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit that abides in us.
Please take time to read and pray through Matthew 5:1-12. As you read this week, perhaps you can write down a few ways you can choose humility over excess. Lent may be over, but we are called to a life of self-control over self-importance. What does that look like to you? And pray for the weak. Pray to God about where you are weak, and ask Him to be your strength. And pray for those that are weak around you, and ask God to help you be a source of strength and encouragement for them.
Lastly, when I think about being meek, I am reminded of all the loving and gracious “mothers” God has placed in my life. I am grateful for their prayers and witness, grace and mercy, love and support. May we all be willing to follow the example of these important women in our lives, whose love have been used by God to welcome us into His kingdom and to help us keep doing this Kingdom work. Happy Mother’s Day, y’all!
May the Lord continue to bless and keep you all!
Pastor Hank (Ruth 2:12)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104