Thursday Thoughts • April 9, 2020
Happy Thursday, Forever Family…
Please join us for our Maundy Thursday Service tonight and our Good Friday Service tomorrow night. Both will be on Facebook and YouTube at 6:30pm. I know it will be time well spent and I’m trusting that it will add to the specialness of this “Holy Week” for you and your family.
As we approach this wonderful but bittersweet weekend, I’d like to share some encouragement from my reading. I have received hundreds of emails over the last few weeks about the current health crisis. Many are looking to sell me and/or Community Church something that will make a big difference in this season of “shelter in place”. Others have promoted the idea that we’ve angered God, that this is the “beginning of the end times”, or that the Republicans and/or Democrats are to blame. Most were deleted quickly, but there are a few that have been encouraging, helpful, and bring a sense of hope because God’s still on the throne.
I’d like to share one of those from Matt Woodley at Preaching Today. “Aren’t you glad that this Easter Sunday you get to preach (even if it’s a live stream sermon) what John Stott called “the up to minute relevance of Jesus’ resurrection”? Stott also says, “The Resurrection somehow resonates with our human condition. It speaks to our needs as I reckon no other event of antiquity does, or even could.” In other words, we don’t have to make the resurrection relevant; it already is relevant. We just need to proclaim it and apply it with joy and confidence. Of course it isn’t just an idea, a concept, or a doctrine; although it is truly a breathtaking and revolutionary doctrine! It is the power of Jesus to usher broken, fragile humanity into his “newness of life” (Romans 6:3).
The missionary-scholar Leslie Newbigin clearly embraced the resurrection reality writing (of Jesus raising Lazarus; John 11): “Resurrection is no longer a mere doctrine: it has a living face and a name. Jesus is himself the presence of the life which is God’s gift beyond death. To be bound to Jesus by faith is to share already now the life which is beyond death. (Leslie Newbigin, The Light Has Come, Eerdmans, p. 142)”
Wow! The Resurrection has a living face and a name; JESUS. Church, let’s embrace and share that living face and declare that death-conquering name! Fear has no place in the Crucifixion/Resurrection story. What the enemy meant for evil God not only meant for good, but made sure by His eternal and divine power that it would be turned to good…our good!
Therein lies the hope of every believer. The story didn’t end as Adam and Eve were shamefully run out of the Garden. The story didn’t end when Israel and Judah were carried off in captivity. The story didn’t end when God was silent for 400 years between Malachi and Matthew. And the story didn’t end on that sad and dismal Friday. Truth is, the story was just gaining steam. Come Sunday morning the validation and proof of God’s existence, His glory, and His presence never shined brighter. So church we can confidently, boldly, and loudly proclaim, “HE IS RISEN… HE IS RISEN INDEED!”
A BIG THANK YOU… to those of you who have stepped up to help during this time of financial need. As you can imagine, we are doing our best to help meet the needs in our church body and the community. Many of our folks are facing lay-offs and cutbacks and we want to be there for them. Your prayers for them and financial faithfulness to Community Church is greatly appreciated. Know that you are touching lives and making a difference, especially now in these uncertain times.
Lastly, I trust that you are taking advantage of the online groups and Zoom meetings taking place each week. If not, call the church office and we’ll get you connected. Prayer requests can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or texted to 251-3792 or on the website at www.communitychurchofsusanville.com/prayer.
This week we’ll be celebrating our Lord’s glorious resurrection from the dead! Don’t miss this special time together. The Easter Sunday live stream begins at 9:00am on Facebook and YouTube.
You can access all of our social media platforms from the website home page, www.communitychurchofsusanville.com.
Read Matthew 28:1-7 and Luke 20:27-39 in preparation for Sunday’s message.
Until we’re together again,
ALL WEEKLY MINISTRIES AND EVENTS ARE SUSPENDED AT 1400 NUMA FOR NOW!
But please CONTACT the church office (257-2924) or Pastor Floyd (251-3803) for invites and links to online groups: DIG class, HonorBound, AWANA/Children’s ministry, Bible studies, Student ministry, and prayer meeting. They are all happening!