This week we conclude our brief three-part series entitled “This is Only a Test” by exploring a real life situation recorded for us in Paul’s second bit of correspondence to the Corinthian church. This congregation had begun contributing to perhaps the earliest mission project in the first church but had not yet completed their commitment. Plan to be with us as we see how the “apostle to the Gentiles” handled this delicate matter.
On this first Sunday of a new series of messages (“This is Only a Test”), we see an ancient people with a challenge not dissimilar to ours … how do we support the ministry of Yahweh in the midst of other material challenges? The creator God has a proposition for his people, both now and then … if we have the courage to try it!”
The final installment of our message series “In His Steps” finds us, on this Easter Sunday, at the empty tomb where we expect to be. Soon we discover, however, that this isn’t just the story of the risen Jesus … but it is our story as well. Plan to be with us, either in person or through our live-stream, as we hear how Jesus’ “powerful steps from the tomb” strengthen us to bring his care and love to our world.
Let us come to your table still. Let us come, acknowledging our unworthiness, that we might find each other, and reach out to barred ones, and meet you.
On this day of memories, help us remember.
In this third part of our journey, we trace the steps of Jesus during Holy Week, and discover that it wasn’t just the punishment on the cross that caused him pain. There was the painful exercise of restraint, as Jesus said very little during the sham of a trial leading up to his execution. He also suffered the pain of perception that, because he died such a shameful death, all he had taught and done during his time of ministry was now invalidated. Gather with us, through your presence in our sanctuary, the live stream of the service or by following the hard copy of the service and reading the printed message, to find out why Jesus consented to go through such agony.
As we move into the second part of our series entitled “In His Steps”, we read the account of Jesus and his disciples leaving the upper room after the Passover meal and making their way to the Mount of Olives. In Luke 22:39-46 we discover the dangerous steps Jesus took to secure our salvation … and how we sometimes are called to follow in our Master’s footsteps.
Welcome to a new series of messages entitled “In His Steps” where we focus on Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, leading us to our Easter celebration. This first week we will discuss the situation He and his disciples discovered when they approached the Temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The words Jesus used will address accessibility to the Father, as well as how we might develop a proper perspective when it comes to a place of worship.
As Ezekiel begins to “switch gears” from a message of judgment to one of hope, he sees an important new vision of a rebuilt Temple back in their homeland … a Temple that will be a source of growth and healing, and a symbol of God’s presence. Of course, there are implications for us, the modern day people of God. Tune in to the live-stream, read the printed version of the message or attend worship in person this Sunday to find out how you and I are involved in this prophecy today!
As the full impact of the siege of Jerusalem begins to settle in for the exiles, Yahweh begins the process of full healing for his people. He leads Ezekiel through the battlefield to admit his grief … and then he begins the assurance that, though the people now feel “cut-off” from any possibility of returning to their land, their sovereign Lord has a plan already in place. Such is the promise for those of us who may feel “cut-off” ourselves.
As Ezekiel catches word that the unthinkable has happened and that the city of Jerusalem has fallen to the Babylonian army (see chapter 33) the prophet hears a new word from Yahweh. The cause of the decline of the Hebrew nation cannot be solely attributed to the citizens … the leadership bears some of the blame as well. Yahweh instructs Ezekiel on a new message, fulfilling the dual roles of seeker of the lost and leader/prince in a surprising way.
The exiles in Babylon are aghast to learn that the puppet king back in Judea had made a decision that angered the “powers that be” and made life difficult for the Hebrews, both home and away. Through the teaching Yahweh gives to Ezekiel we find out that bad decisions or bad worship choices need not dictate the future. The Father loves us … and provides a way for us to enjoy the full blessing of His guidance and care.