Do you believe people you've never heard of have the greatest impact on our world? Terrence Malick's glorious 'A Hidden Life' would say 'yes' to that. The Apostle Paul shows us in Colossians 3:1-3 how we can appreciate being 'obscure' in the world's eyes, and a practical way to act on it in 3:23-24. Humility is often overlooked or misunderstood - but is always seen and honored by the One who really matters.
Music today: 'I Believe in You,' Bob Dylan. Most can't handle his nasally tone (which I think he does here for effect), but you may enjoy Dottie People's awesome gospel rendition. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02Y0LGw2CZY
One or two GOOD things have come out of the pandemic. One is cleaner air. Another may be clearing the spiritual air to spot one of the most insidious vices of the human heart. Let's look at Luke 12:13-15 and one of my favorite verses, Luke 17:32.
Bob Dylan, 'Blind Willie Mctell' 'Seen the arrow on the doorpost/saying, 'this land is condemned, all the way from New Orleans, to Jerusalem. . . ' 'Well, God is in his heaven/and we all want what's His but power and greed and corruptible seed/seem to be all that there is/ I'm gazing out the window of the St. James motel/and I know no one can sing the blues like blind Willie McTell.' Geeking out over Dylan lyrics can be a full time hobby, but let me just offer this one - in a song dealing with greed and slavery, the lessons we learn from living with the book of James (St. James motel?) are very applicable.
It's not just those on the front line of physical peril that can become casualties in a pandemic. The dangers that accompany meeting spiritual needs hit talented pastors especially hard. Join me for a meditation on spiritual depression and Revelation 22:16. Let's be careful out there.
Leslie Phillips, 'Carry You'. Phillips certainly knows something about spiritual depression, but her farewell release to Christian music was a classic, and that includes this reminder of Christ's sufficiency in trouble. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eISdKOe0els
Remember 'Red light, Green light?' Find out how the virtue of prudence can lead us well during these days - and prudence is better word than you thought! Join me for 5 minutes with Matthew 12:9-21 to see Jesus doing God's will in the right way at the right time - and how we can as well.
Following our latest Session meeting this week, we wanted to share the latest decisions that we’ve made regarding our worship life together.
First, we will continue our online worship offering until further notice. Governor Wolf’s stay-at-home order has been extended until May 8, but the step of encouraging worship gatherings (or gatherings of any sort in a group larger than 10) is unlikely to occur until some time after that. Personally, I would love to see us celebrate Pentecost together on May 31, but we will have to see how our current social-distancing efforts have worked in keeping infection numbers down. Please join us for our services at cupepc.org, and look for the short devotionals posted several times each week by Pastor Scott on Facebook and the church web page.
We have made the decision to continue to wait on serving communion until we can do so together. While the denomination has given permission to serve communion through ‘virtual’ services online, we have decided that while our desire to share the sacrament together is high, we’ve not waited such a long period of time that we have lost the effect of sharing in the Lord’s presence with us in this way. I’m attaching a link here (https://bellefield.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/Communion-teaching-guide-EPC-version.pdf) to a good resource on our understanding of the Lord’s supper from a Reformed perspective. Bellefield EPC is close to the University of Pittsburgh campus.
Please let us know of your prayer requests and other needs. This is a challenging and uncertain time for all of us, but particularly so for those facing significant health challenges, the loss of work – or the level of work brought up to exhausting levels due to emergency needs. Please know that Cup church loves you and wants to pray for you, as well as provide for practical needs as we are able. Please leave a message at the church office (724-843-1594) or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
“The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.” (Psalm 46:7) May the Lord bless and keep each of you until we are together again!