From the Pastor

Following Jesus Together - January 14

Dear Friends,

Please continue to pray for the Mailloux family. There will be lots of opportunities to continue to love this family in the days to come. Until then, it is good to reflect on these paraphrased words by John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress, “Love in Christ never decays, nor can it be tempted to lessen by anything that happens now or in the future.”

It is a great comfort in suffering, that nothing in all creation can separate us from Gods’ love, neither life or death (Romans 8:31-38). This assurance comes as John tells us, because of Jesus’ faithful love:

“Jesus knew that the time had come to leave this world to go to the Father. Having loved his dear companions, he continued to love them right to the end.”

So he comforted in the chaos – You are loved by our Savior and King to the end. We love till we get hurt or offended. Jesus loves us despite our faithlessness. He’s at work teaching us to love even when it hurts.

The Capitol Riots
We continue to pray for peace in our country! It’s good to remember that God put us here for such a time as this, to use gracious speech seasoned with salt, sent out as peacemakers. Many gospel-centered things have been written in response.  Here’s one by Kevin DeYoung, on how to disagree.

Come, Let Us Reason Together - Kevin DeYoung: Race, Covid, Election (thegospelcoalition.org)

Gospelling Amidst the Chaos –
What is gospelling? - The practice of telling God’s good news to one another and to our neighbors. It’s active persuasion, telling others that Jesus is King. We are Christ’s ambassadors sent to work and pray for the peace of our neighbors. I personally can’t wait until the return of normalcy and the ability to show hospitality in person again.

Until that day, how do we reason together with those who see the world differently?

While we wait, we can prepare to persuade others to take Jesus seriously. To take Jesus seriously, we have to take our need for the gospel seriously. We are very real sinners. Thus we are armed with God’s power for our weakness. In our divided age, we don’t split the world into heroes and villains. We lead with repentance. 

One theologian put it like this, (Herman Bavinck)

“The sharpest weapons must in the first place be turned against ourselves…to be really able to convict anyone else of sin, a person must know himself and the hidden corners of their heart very well. There is no more humbling work in the world than to engage in [gospel-persuasion]…the Holy Spirit first convicts us, and then through us He convicts the world.”

As Jesus reminds us, it’s hard to persuade others of sin when the log in our eye keeps us from seeing their speck.

Sunday – Pastor Jim is continuing through Romans 1. Vs. 18-32 contain the bad news of the gospel. Yet, this reality leads us to God’s good news. We get to see the depths to which Jesus went to justify sinners like us. Just another friendly reminder that Sunday School and Worship will be virtual only this week.

See you Sunday!

Grace and peace,
Nate

Virtual Worship only 1/10 & 1/17

Dear Friends,

In light of sickness, COVID and being generally cautious, the Session has decided to go virtual only for the next two weeks. Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility! 

Hope was due to host Presbytery on Saturday, January 16th. That has been cancelled until a later date.

Sunday School is at 9:00am with our elder-in-training, Brandon Perkins.

Worship begins at 10:00am via Zoom and Youtube Live.

Finally, some good news – my covid test came back negative again! So now to find out with the doctors what is happening. Thank you for your prayers and kindness!

Grace and peace,
Nate

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