Archive for the This Sunday Category
This is a great weekend to invite a friend to church, and we’re going to help make doing so easy for you.
On Friday Evening we will hold our annual Good Friday service at 6:30 PM. Then, on Sunday morning we will hold our Easter service at three times, 7:30, 9:00, and 10:45 AM.
The image is the top of a new invitation page for this weekend’s Good Friday and Easter Services. This is something like a digital version of the invitation cards we have made available for years. Those cards are especially useful for the people we meet in the course of our day around town. But for the people we socialize with on a regular basis, this should come in especially handy. The digital space is where so much of our communication takes place already.
So, use it. Use it to invite friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors to catch a glimpse of heaven in the singing, celebration, and preaching of Christ’s resurrection this weekend. Link to it in an email, or use the little buttons at the bottom of the page to share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Google +.
Finally, with our visitors in mind, if it is an option for you, please come to the 7:30 AM service on Easter Sunday. Each year we cooperate as a church to make sure that there is room in each service for anyone who comes to church. It would be a real bummer for a visitor to come close to the start of a service only to be routed to an overflow room. We don’t have childcare at 7:30 AM, so if you don’t have kids and can manage, consider joining us at the early service to free up a seat for a visitor at one of our other services.
Jesus is joy to and for the world. We come together on Sundays because he is our joy, and because we want more joy in him. Remember to take advantage of our Christmas weekend services to invite your friends, neighbors, and family to join us in celebrating the coming of Christ.
Christmas Eve services are at 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM. Sunday morning services are at the regular times, 9:00 AM and 10:45 AM.
Enjoy this new Christmas carol by Keith and Kristyn Getty:
[RSS and email readers, click here to view this video]
This Sunday, we’re looking at the psalm of the shepherd, Psalm 23. Invite a friend to come along at 9:00 or 10:45 AM.
The Lord is my shepherd; no want shall I know.
He makes me lie down where the green pastures grow;
He leads me to rest where the calm waters flow.
My wandering steps he brings back to his way,
In straight paths of righteousness making me stay;
And this he has done his great name to display.
Though I walk in death’s valley, where darkness is near,
Because you are with me, no evil I’ll fear;
Your rod and your staff bring me comfort and cheer.
In the sight of my enemies a table you spread.
The oil of rejoicing you pour on my head;
My cup overflows and I’m graciously fed.
So surely your covenant mercy and grace
Will follow me closely in all my ways;
I will dwell in the house of the Lord all my days.
– From Sing Psalms: New Metrical Versions of the Book of Psalms (Free Church of Scotland, 2003).
This Sunday begins our new sermon series through the book of Colossians. Ryan will preach an introduction and overview of the book, helping us to zero in on its central theme: The preeminence of Christ. That’s not a word we use very often…preeminence, that is. But this is not an altogether bad thing. Good words that are over used or improperly used are slowly emptied of the weight of their meaning. When we use the word preeminence, we can think of Christ as he is described in this central portion of the first chapter of Colossians:
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. (Colossians 1:15-20 ESV)
Christ created all things, he is before all things, in him all things hold together and through him God is reconciling his church and all things to himself. By God’s grace, we will come to know Christ better for who he is as a result of our time in this book.
By way of reminder, Community Groups discuss and apply the sermon when they meet throughout the week in various homes. If you are not already involved, the start of this series is a good time to join. Go to the Community Group page for more information, and check our messages page for sermon audio as the series unfolds.
He came to his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
What does it mean to be born of God? How do we come to receive Him? Fred answers these and other similar questions in a methodical, progressive, and clear way. His conclusion is:
To believe in Christ unto salvation requires much more than anything human life can produce. It is not a matter of ridding ourselves of our worst habits. It is not a matter of moral improvement. It requires such a drastic, such a thorough-going transformation that it cannot be brought about by anything we do or will. It is not a matter of human excellence; it is a matter of divine grace.
And so the Biblical writers are careful to tell us not only that “it is not of him that wills or of him that runs,” but also that “it is of God who shows mercy” (Rom. 9:16). They tell us not only that we must believe, but that “God works within us both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:13). They tell us not only that we cannot do anything to birth ourselves into God’s family but also that God in Christ and by His Spirit does for us what we would not and could not do ourselves. They tell us that those who savingly confess Christ do so only “by the Holy Spirit” (1 Cor. 12:3). True confession of faith in Christ is something that is entirely beyond us until we are so enabled by God the Spirit.
In other words, all this comes down to that one big word which we find everywhere in the Bible, and that word is grace. Salvation comes to us entirely from God’s side. “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9). It is His doing for us not because of us or even with us. It is His doing for us and in us. It is all a work of His grace; it all stems from His loving kindness.
Read the whole article to see how he comes to these conclusions from the passage itself. Some great, helpful, grace-glorifying stuff!
And we hope to see you Sunday. Fred will be preaching from Job in our Sunday AM services and, again, on Romans 9 that evening.
That’s what Jesus says in this Sunday’s passage, Luke 18:18-30 — the story of the rich, young ruler. Despite his riches and religious accolades, the story ends with the man going away sad, confused, and lost. Jesus then tells the disciples that rich people getting saved is about as easy as shoving a fat camel through the eye of a needle.
Invite a friend this Sunday as we talk about how God does the impossible.
I know it’s the middle, and not the beginning, of Passion Week, but if you’re still looking for some guidance on where to read to follow the passion narrative, the below might help.
Tonight (Wednesday, 6:30PM), we meet together for our monthly Lord’s Supper. We’ll read, think, and pray about the events that happened on Thursday of the Passion Week. (Sorry if it’s confusing to talk about Thursday on Wednesday, but I think it’ll be best for us to think about the first Lord’s Supper at our usual Lord’s Supper service.) Hope to see you tonight, as well as Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday.
|Saturday||Arrival in Bethany, Anointed by Mary||John 11:55-12:8|
|Sunday||Crowd came to see Jesus||John 12:9-11|
|Monday||Triumphal Entry||Matthew 21:1-17; Luke 19:39-44|
|Tuesday||Cleansing of Temple, Fig Tree Cursed||Mark 11:12-26|
|Wednesday||Temple Controversy, Olivet Discourse||Matthew 21:23-25:46|
|Thursday||Last Supper, Betrayal, Trial Before Annas and Caiaphas||Luke 22:7-65; John 13:1-38, 18:2-27|
|Friday||Trials; Crucified and Buried||Matthew 27:1-60; John 18:28-19:42|
|Saturday||Dead in Tomb|
|Sunday||Resurrected||Matthew 28:1-15; Luke 24:1-35|
– Adapted from Harold W. Hoehner, “Chronology,” Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, p. 120.