What can a puppy teach us about our relationship with God? Join me (and little Schubert) for a few minutes with Psalm 131 and finding our sufficiency in God.
Music today: Josh Garrels, 'Zion and Babylon'. The first half of the song describes the mindset of 'Babylon': the secular world. The second the mindset of Zion: a very different approach that finds its hope in God rather than material power. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfsdVvcubnA
Also: Vladimir Horowitz, 'Traumerei (Dreaming)' Live in Moscow, 1986. One of the most peaceful, hopeful pieces I know, played by a Russian exile back in Moscow in the latter stages of the Cold War. I believe meditating on the reality of the Lord's love in the midst of our broken world looks something like what we see on the faces of this audience. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3BXcKgpvcs
'Your brain on anxiety.' Are you in need of an antidote to those persistent voices about worries you can't control? Our faith provides powerful medicine, and it may be best applied through a 'prayer of the heart.' Join me and Hebrews 11:1 for a few minutes to learn more!
Music today: 'A Love Supreme: Acknowledgement', John Coltrane. The singing portion comes around the 6:00 mark. The phrase runs through major and minor keys, as if God's love carries us in all of life's situations. It's worth looking for Coltrane's liner notes and love poem to God that he released with this album, the only time he included written material with his music. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lHUapMTgWD0
Want something filling from God's word? Join me for the 'Great Scottish Scripture Show.' While I can't provide the charm of Mary Berry, Psalm 1 with the S.P.E.C.K. ingredients list provides one basic way to pay attention to and apply the Bible.
Scripture vs. Sloth: How do we build a defense against 'the Noonday demon' that can suck day after day away from us? Some simple ideas to engage Scripture and the Holy Spirit in a daily 'quiet time' with some possible resources to start, including Psalm 119:105-112. Feel free to add your own comments of 'starter' resources for time with God in Scripture you've found helpful.
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 email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“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!