Dear Church Family and Community,
I remember the conversation, like it was yesterday. Only it happened years ago, and with a friend who has always been more of a brother to me. I was trying to convince my friend (and probably myself) that if people could only judge us by the content of our character, they would realize that we are indeed good people. Undeterred, my friend looked me in the eye and asked, “Why do we have to be proven good in someone’s eyes to have them treat us like equals?”
This question has always stayed with me. My friend was not implying that character did not matter. His point was simply that we should be treated as equals. Furthermore, from fellow Christians, we should be loved as family and welcomed as members of one another in the Body of Christ. It’s a losing battle to try and prove that you are good in someone’s eyes because they treat your skin color like a forever demerit to be overcome. I am grateful to my friend for teaching me this lesson.
As our conversation progressed, we then began to dream. We imagined being a church that actually looked like the “on earth as it is in heaven” described in scripture. What would it take to become a community which loves the way God loves and celebrates our God-created reality of being a family of every nation, every tribe, and every tongue. We were young and naïve enough to dream this, as if it was our own invention. I am blessed to have seen enough days to learn that this has been God’s plan from the beginning. We are all blessed to be part of HBIC, a community committed to working together and celebrating being a family of as many nations, tribes, and tongues that God sends our way.
We come from Kenya and Ghana, Mexico and Canada, Haiti and Puerto Rico, Brazil and Guyana, India and Indonesia, Ireland and Germany, and so many more. Here at HBIC, we choose to make our home together in a garage on the hill where we park on our roof. Together we shine as bright as we can so our local and global communities can glorify our Father in heaven. Oh, and we also eat Giant fried chicken at just about every family meal. I love that at HBIC we are blessed with a taste of heaven here on our earth.
Speaking of tastes of heaven, you do not want to miss this Sunday’s Mosaics Meal. I highlighted it last week, but feel the need to mention it again. Sunday night affords us the chance to have one of the best meals of our year. We will enjoy sweet fellowship with each other as well as foods from our HBIC families who come from different parts of the world. To make the night a success, please remember that your dish should be enough to feed at least 10 people and be divided between two containers. Desserts can be in a single container. If you are able to volunteer to help with set-up, serving, or clean-up, please let me know (PastorHank@HarrisburgBIC.org).
As part of our celebration this weekend, the Mosaics Committee is planning a Mosaics Sunday for our morning services. We will be singing songs in a few different languages, enjoy a performance by our worship dance team, and provide time for congregational sharing where we will have an opportunity to briefly share what being part of our multiethnic church means to you and your family. To prepare for this week’s service, please take some time to read and pray through Revelation 5 and Matthew 6:9-13. After, I invite you to spend some time reflecting on what the phrase “earth as it is in heaven” means.
Lastly, if you were not able to join us last week, please be sure to catch up with our sermon and current series DNA: Living Out Our Uniqueness, and into Our Call here on our website, or through our sermon podcast at Soundcloud, Google Play, iTunes, or Stitcher. Our focus was on Acts 1:1-11 and Jesus’ call and commission to us to be his witnesses here, there, and everywhere. Jesus left the Holy Spirit and his Church to win the world, and our local and global witness invites heaven to partner with earth to do God’s work.
May God’s light find you, keep you, and continue to point you home with our good Lord. God bless and take care.
Love in Christ,
Pastor Hank (Acts 1:8)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104