Dear Church Family and Community,
It’s hard to believe that we will reach June by the end of this week. June marks the end of the school year for our many children, youth, educators, and administrators. As a student, I always started my end of year countdown in earnest when we reached May; I have learned from many of our people who serve in schools here that the countdown must be started even sooner though.
My prayer for all of our students, educators, parents and families is that you all end the year well. So many times, we limp to the finish line, exhausted and just grateful to be done. To be honest, that is where some of us might be – in school, or at work. I get it; one of the challenges of life moving so fast is that we always need to catch up. However, God can refresh and rejuvenate you, even in the midst of all your busyness. May our God gift you the strength to finish well.
This past Sunday, we continued our current sermon series on The Beatitudes entitled Blessings: Promises of the Kingdom. We focused on Jesus’ fifth Beatitude: Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. In this promise, Jesus calls us to remember the mercy we have received from our God, the Father of mercies. Jesus challenges us to gift mercy, because we have received such great mercy from the Lord our God.
God’s mercy is compassion, forgiveness, love, and His grace to us. God’s mercies are over all His works. It saves and sustains us and is new for us each morning. It also comforts us in our suffering, and helps us comfort others in their pain, grief, and suffering. Forgiveness is not easy, but Jesus calls us to gift mercy, because we have received such great mercy. Jesus is God’s mercy or chesed to each of us – God’s love that is for our best interest. In gifting us His chesed in Jesus, God reminds us of our need for His mercy, and calls us to give the same love to our world that desperately needs it. 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 our Blessings: Promises of the Kingdom series by looking at the sixth Beatitude: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. This Beatitude moves us past our mere words and deeds and to a place of self-examination before our God. Jesus asks, is your heart pure? Is it pure before me? The pure in heart are those who submit to the Spirit daily to make us pure, as Jesus is pure. The pure in heart see God, because they have sought after God, are daily transformed by the Holy Spirit, and look to Jesus to live like Jesus.
Please take time to read and pray through both Matthew 5:1-12 and 1 Peter 1:13-25. As you read this week, think about what it means to be pure and holy. How is God calling you to be more like Him? Why does that matter? How can the Holy Spirit help? How is God calling you today to be holy, righteous, and faithful?
The pure in heart will see God. This is Jesus’ blessing and promise. May the Lord continue to bless and keep you all.
May the Lord continue to bless and keep you all!
Pastor Hank (1 John 3:1-3)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104