'Ascension Day: When Jesus started working from home.' Not only is the first meme I've ever seen on the subject, it's the first time I've thought about the subject for awhile. Then again, I'm an American. Let's look at Acts 1:6-11.
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
Last night our church session met in a virtual meeting to discuss our plans for worship in light of the latest guidance given July 15 from Governor Wolf. The governor specifically exempted churches from his restrictions of no more than 25 people in an indoor facility and has not placed Beaver County (or any other county in Western Pennsylvania) back in a ‘red’ phase.
We also carefully considered all the feedback we received from those of you who have replied over the past month to our questionnaire.
As a result, the Cup church session adopted unanimously the following policy:
We will continue to meet for sanctuary worship at 10:30 on Sunday mornings.
We are requiring masks through the entire worship service unless a medical condition prevents this. If someone desires not to wear a mask for personal reasons, we can provide a location for seating where the service can be heard, but outside of the sanctuary.
On that page, click on ‘subscribe’ and on the bell icon in order to receive a notification when we post the worship service for you to view. We are currently working on ‘live streaming’ the service and have had some technical difficulties in recent weeks, but are working on solving those. Additional subscribers to our YouTube channel will help our processing time in getting the video up, so please subscribe – and tell your friends about us!
We continue to monitor the situation involving COVID-19 and aim at providing the proper balance of spiritual and physical care to our congregation and community. Our policy will be adapted as circumstances warrant.
We are thankful for God’s provision and your support in these challenging times and look forward to the time when all of us will feel comfortable and secure in attending worship together. Until that time, let us ‘fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith. . .so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.’ (Hebrews 12:2-3)