The accused is completely exasperated; the accusers are angry whiners; the likely outcome for the loser is death. Lockdown day 10? Nope, it's Exodus 17:1-7, one of the most remarkable passages in the OT. Make sure you also look at Paul's take on this in 1 Corinthians 10:4. I was still so annoyed with this morning's illustration about what humanity is like that I forgot to mention it, as well as today's music! Chris Rice, performing August Toplady's classic hymn 'Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in thee.' I'll mention something about the 'hide myself' portion tomorrow, but a word here about Toplady's call for God to be a 'double cure' from sin: The first cure is from sin's 'guilt' or 'wrath' Jesus pays the penalty of our guilt for breaking God's law. Yet Toplady also wants to be freed from sin's 'power' In other words, we can be forgiven by the blood of Christ, but still remain under the delusion that the goals, behaviors and rewards of this world are worth pursuing over God's ways (see 1 John 2:15-17). The DOUBLE cure is to receive that Christ has the power and desire to lead us into a new way of living as we 'hide ourselves' with him. That's where we're going tomorrow! https://youtu.be/rlhJ6ApK25E
Spiritual exfoliation. It's a thing. Join me for a few minutes on Malachi 3:1-2, and God's occasional deep cleans that involve taking a pipe bomb to our perceptions of self-sufficiency. Music: Jason Isbell's '24 Frames' (If you prefer George Frederick Handel or heavy metal for this theme, I'm willing to oblige.)
If you've had your fill of late night movies and trivia games, take a few minutes with me to latch on to John's discovery in 1 John 3:1-3. You can be a part of the most exciting adventure and destiny of all - even on lockdown!
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!