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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).”

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

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