"Mission work" might sound intimidating, but in reality it's quite simple. Dave shares his experience with mission work, both abroad and at home, and points us in the direction of the work of the Holy Spirit, what that work looks like, and how we might submit ourselves to what it's up to in our lives...
Eucharist Church has moved locations five times in five years… which is sort of crazy! What have we learned in that wandering, and what can we learn about wandering from the story of scripture?
These are the questions we ask as we settle into our (hopefully longer term!) new building: MacNab Presbyterian!
A quick tour of our time together on Sunday! We started in the garden outside before the gathering eating popsicles. JP came out and started leading us in music, singing “come into this place, meet us with your grace…”
We then entered into the hall where we will be gathering, and continued to worship and learn and communion together.
Finally we moved into the Sanctuary and got a tour by one of MacNab’s elders. He shared the history of the building, the stained glass windows, and the congregation… and it was super inspiring and gorgeous. We closed with a hymn and a benediction from the mega-pulpit.
Anyone have a story about a time where someone was hurt by a person who claimed to be a Christian? Where a congregation was prejudice, controlling or judgemental?
… Thought so.
In a time where SO many people have been hurt by people claiming to be Christians, it’s refreshing and encouraging to see so many communities valuing the idea of “safe church”
But there is another question worth asking: should the church be safe?
This week we also dedicated Aaron and Cath’s baby Georgia, so if you hear references to families that are joining us, or some general baby-talk, that’s why!
That day a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria. Devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation over him. But Saul was ravaging the church by entering house after house; dragging off both men and women, he committed them to prison.
Now those who were scattered went from place to place, proclaiming the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them.
Who is the Holy Spirit and what is s/he doing in the world?
Also, the first 15 minutes of this podcast feature an EXCITING announcements about the future of Eucharist’s public gathering. If you are someone who attends the gatherings, listen up! If you are just a “pod-rishioner” then feel free to jump to minute 15.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”
But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o'clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: "In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’
Throughout history and around the world, people who have had an transformative encounter with the Resurrected Jesus have walked into water, surrounded by their community, and have been dunked under and pulled back up.
So… that’s a bit of a weird thing!
Why do followers of Jesus get baptized? And equally important: why in the WORLD was Jesus baptized?
Mark 1:4-11 4
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8 I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10 And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11 And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
Are we talking about a giant white man on a throne in the sky? Are we talking about a physical being at all? Are we talking about a crowd freaking out at a spots game?
And what does it mean to have a relationship with this Divine-Creator-Sustainer-Energy-And-Life-Behind-All-The-Cosmos?
Well, it’s kind of like a plastic cow.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4 in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. … 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. 12 But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. … 16 From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
We return to John the Baptist this week and look at his answer to a very peculiar question: who are you?
Which is a question we all need to answer. Who am I? And what makes ME… me?!
What (or who) defines our identity?
The text, John 1:6-8, 19-28:
6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. 8 He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light.
19 This is the testimony given by John when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” 20 He confessed and did not deny it, but confessed, “I am not the Messiah.” 21 And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the prophet?” He answered, “No.” 22 Then they said to him, “Who are you? Let us have an answer for those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?” 23 He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’” as the prophet Isaiah said. 24 Now they had been sent from the Pharisees. 25 They asked him, “Why then are you baptizing if you are neither the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?” 26 John answered them, “I baptize with water. Among you stands one whom you do not know, 27 the one who is coming after me; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandal.” 28 This took place in Bethany across the Jordan where John was baptizing.