Dear Church Family and Community,
God is the real hero of the story. This is undoubtedly one of the most easily forgotten truths of Scripture. This is seen when we teach heroes of the faith, and forget to make God the center. Also, when we only recall Abel, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, Samson, and David – our Old Testament heroes – the tragedy for many of us is that we grow up learning a faith in which the heroes we are taught are mostly men.
We know Abel, but what about what God teaches us through his mother Eve. We know Abraham, but what about Hagar? Moses could not have been possible without the bravery of Jewish midwives, or the intelligence and resourcefulness of Miriam, his sister, and Jochebed, his mother. There are so many women who serve as faith builders for us. This is why we must be intentional in telling their stories.
I am very excited to go back to the pages of Genesis and Exodus for our next series, Faith Builders: Lessons from Early Women of Faith. I am thrilled to look back at Eve, Hagar, Sarah, Rebekah, Shiphrah and Puah, Miriam, Jochebed and Pharaoh’s daughter. Inside these stories, we will find courage to be who God has called us to be, hope even in the midst of deep darkness, and a reminder that while God is the real hero of the story, God is also humble enough to allow us to play a part.
This past Sunday, we completed our Blessings: Promises of the Kingdom series. What a privilege we have through Jesus in the Beatitudes as they gift us a composite picture of what life is like in God’s kingdom. Jesus calls us to empty ourselves of the things of the world (so that we can be filled by the Spirit with the things of God), to grieve our sin and the brokenness in ourselves and in our world, to always display the character of Christ, to hunger and thirst to do God’s work, to give mercy because we have received much mercy, to ask God to purify our hearts, to bring in God’s peace and shalom into our world, and to count all suffering as joy for it is the seed of the Church.
Persecution is not something anyone seeks, but it is something we all must endure. Because of their loyalty and allegiance to Christ, some of our sisters and brothers in this world, and throughout history, have been obedient unto death. Many of us are blessed to never know of this reality. Nevertheless, the work for us here is to live for Christ amidst the death and destruction in our everyday scenes, and to shine for God’s glory despite mockery, disdain, insults, and evil lies against us – because of our loyalty and allegiance to Christ alone. 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 begin a new series, Faith Builders: Lessons from Early Women of Faith, by going back to the very beginning to be re-introduced to Eve. Please take time to read and pray through Genesis 1 and 2. As you read this week, ask yourself: “Why was Eve created?”, “What does it mean to be created in the image of God?”, “What authority does God gift both Adam and Eve?”, “What do we learn about God from Eve?”.
Lastly, this Sunday night marks the beginning of our Vacation Bible School (VBS). Let us pray for the children and families who will be with us for VBS. Pray also for Pastor Patty and her awesome team of volunteers as they love, serve, share and proclaim Christ’s love. We will also be having a time of prayer for them and this upcoming week of VBS in our services as well!
As always, thank you for reading. I hope and pray this finds you each doing well.
May the Lord continue to bless and keep you all!
Love in Christ,
Pastor Hank (Genesis 1:26-27)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104