From the Pastor

Following Jesus Together - April 13

Dear Friends,

For this week’s reflection – or deep dive into the gospel – I commend to you this longer, but thoughtful reflection on how the good news of Jesus becomes a transforming power in your life. Here’s a quote by Steve Childers and the link to the article:  

“It is the good news that no matter how alone we may find ourselves in this life, no matter how many people may leave us, we can always know the intimate communion of God’s Holy Spirit who promises never to leave us or forsake us (Heb 13:5). His love for us is eternal; he chose us to be in Christ before the creation of the world, and he promises that the work he began in us, he will bring to completion on that final day in heaven (Phil 1:6). In the meantime, he promises to come alongside us to comfort, encourage and transform us through all our trials. He promises always to be near to the brokenhearted (Ps 34:18).”

https://kingscrossdefiance.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/true_spirituality_steve_childers.pdf

Sunday School – 9:00am – Fate or Fathered? – One of the accusations thrown at Reformed Christians for belief in God who is at work in ALL things at EVERY moment is this: you are a fatalist. You think we are robots. We have no free will! So as we continue our conversation about God’s Loving and Personal Providence – it is helpful to distinguish fate (blind goalless events) from God’s Fathering of us. As the Belgic Confession helpfully put it:

“nothing comes to us by chance, but only by the arrangement of our gracious Heavenly Father who watches over us with fatherly care.” 

Do you want to be Fathered? 

Worship – 10:00am – 1 Peter 1:10-12 – “Obsessed with the Gospel” – This is such a great passage for those who heard last weeks sermon and don’t feel the inexpressible joy Peter describes. We are called to look at the magnificent obsession of the Prophets (Old Testament). We get to see what the angels never get tired of learning more of. We are called to participate with the angels in this. What is this magnificent obsession? 

The gospel – the things into which angels long to look. 

Meditate on this reality this week – what we forget, get bored with, or think it’s just for those beginning the Christian life – the good news of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, ascension and return to make all things new – this gospel is what equips you for all the various trials you will face as a Christian. 

Let’s go further up and further into the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories! 

Mission Moment This Sunday – This week we will have a missionary visiting. Trevor O’Gorman is a missionary with BCM (Bible-centered Ministries) and works at Cortland Bible Camp. He’s also a good friend! He was in our wedding! Trevor is a member and deacon at Church of the Redeemer (PCA)  He is planning to share with us how Cortland Bible Camp works to get the gospel into the hearts and minds of kids in New York State. 

On a related note, before COVID hit, we were planning a Presbytery wide youth retreat at this camp in Cortland. God-willing as COVID subsides, we will be able to do that in the future. 

May 2nd Congregational Meeting -  We are planning to gather outside after the worship service for our annual congregational meeting. If you are a member of Hope Church, please put this on your calendar and join us! Non-members are welcome as well! The plan is to pack your own lunch to eat after the service and then we will jump into the business. 

In chapter 2 of 1 Peter, Christians are called living stones. We are being built up into a spiritual house. It’s a great metaphor for the local church. We are living stones put together, following Jesus. The point is Jesus never pictured Christians being independent stones, serving him. But being joined together. God-willing, Jesus will continue to build his church through us together in the years to come!

Grace and peace,
Nate Thompson
www.hopechurch.us

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Following Jesus Together - April 7

Dear Friends,

For this week’s gospel meditation, I’m going to refer you to Rev. Marc Davis’ great reflections on the “Then and Now of Easter.” For those who don’t know, Marc is a PCA minister and related to the Perkins family. He helpfully lays out how we continue to celebrate Easter! Here’s a quote:

Look at “what the writer of Hebrews calls, the joy set before him (Hebrews 12:2) –  the anticipation that fuels Jesus’ courage as he suffers, the confidence that empowers his endurance:  an “on the other side” with you and me.” 

https://serge.org/we-will-feast-celebrating-the-then-and-now-of-easter/ 

Session Meeting Tonight: The elders are meeting together tonight for our monthly meeting. We are planning for our upcoming May 2ndCongregational meeting. We always covet your prayers for deeper joy and faith in the gospel and for the wisdom needed to serve Christ and you well.

Sunday School – 9:00am – “God’s Many Purposes in Providence” – We are continuing our study of this great doctrine of God’s providence, how He personally Fathers us and this world and governs all things. Our goal is to better understand the God who is ‘guarding us by His own power through faith in Christ (1 Peter 1:5).’

Worship – 10:00am – 1 Peter 1:3-12 – “Faith Grows in the Furnace” – Peter pastors us through suffering this week. How do we apply our imperishable, undefiled and unfading inheritance to our current agonies and sorrows? We are like gold in the fire, being tested and purified. Come and hear the good news!

May God’s grace and peace be multiplied to you this week, 

Nate Thompson
www.hopechurch.us

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