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Weekly Update from Pastor Hank – July 15

Dear Church Family and Community,

I have been thinking about one of the most common phrases in all of the New Testament. The Greek word allélón (pronounced phonetically as al-lay’-lone) can be translated as “one another” or “each other.” We find it in Jesus’ command to love one another (John 13:34). We read it consistently in writings by Paul when we’re asked to put the interest of others above our own (Phil. 2:3-4), to serve by helping to carry each other’s burdens (Gal. 6:2), and to encourage one another (1 Thess. 4:18).

While allélón appears about 100 times in the New Testament, each mention is usually connected around the themes of love, unity, humble service, and encouragement. I believe this is an intentional work by God. Through the Scripture writers, and for the body of believers, God consistently calls us to love God and to love one another. Our commitment to God must be shown in unity, service, and the edifying work of encouraging one another. This was true as Christ’s Church was birthed and grew, and it must remain true for followers of Jesus today.

This week we will continue our current sermon series, Called to Steward: Growing in Christlikeness, Caring, and Trust. We will do so by focusing on our call to steward one another. God has blessed us with all that we are and all that we have. God has also blessed us with each other. The call to steward one another reminds us that we belong to God and to each other. We steward one another to please God, and we do so because we are members of Christ’s body, and members of one another.

In a world that pushes us towards individualism, God calls us to live and work for the community. In this current climate of uncertainty, isolation, and fear, it is such a blessing to have our God who knows the present and the future, the Holy Spirit who binds us together as one, and Jesus who has overcome it all. In every season, in deed and in truth, we must love one another. And as we commit to loving one another, being unified together, serving each other, and living to build up one another through encouragement – we fulfill the command to steward one another.

This week, to help us in our call to steward one another, we will be focusing on Ephesians 4:25-5:2. For more context in preparing for this week’s service, it would be good to read and pray beginning at the start of chapter 4. As you read, I invite you to reflect on the following questions:

Why is unity so important to God?
Why is unity so important for followers of Jesus?
What are practical ways this passage calls us to love one another?
How are you following Christ’s example in loving the people in your life?

For the last few months, we have been unable to meet in person, due to the current pandemic. I have been really encouraged by our HBIC family and our leadership team. The prayers, love, work, and ministry of this body, has helped us to continue to be a light to our community, as well as to one another.

This Sunday marks our first opportunity to meet in person since mid-March. I am excited for our services at Lingle Park this weekend. It will be such a blessing to worship together, see each other, and just be together. I hope to see you this weekend. Please remember to register to help us in our planning. (And if you can’t be there, we will also have a service available on the HBIC YouTube Channel by 9 am on Sunday morning.)

And as always, I am grateful to God for you and our family here at HBIC. May the Lord continue to shine light in and through you, and may we all learn and grow in loving God and in loving one another.

God bless you all. And take care.
Love in Christ,

Pastor Hank
(John 13:34-35)
P: (717) 561-2170, ext. 104

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