Have you ever experienced a Sunday morning when worship felt lifeless, empty, routine, "same-old-same-old", "heard it all before", dare I say, even boring? Here's the question I would like to have you think about between now and Sunday. How does someone reignite a burning desire in their heart for worshiping Jesus?
This idea of "hearts on fire for Jesus" is not just Christianese. It's biblical. Join us on Sunday at 9:30am, as we continue our series, Encounters with Jesus. This week, we will dive into Luke 24, which recounts one of the most powerful post-resurrection moments. It was on the road to Emmaus, where two despondent disciples are transformed by an encounter with the risen Christ. Near the end of the story, after Jesus disappeared from their sight, the two disciples talked about what they learned and how it affected them. They asked each other, "Were our hearts not burning within us while he (Jesus) talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?". What set their hearts ablaze was an interpretation of Scripture that put Jesus front and center.
If our Sunday worship experience is going to set our hearts on fire, it must put Jesus front and center, through the Scriptures. Protestant Reformer, Thomas Cramer, in his short manifesto on worship claimed that the purpose of worship, centered on Christ and filled with the Scriptures, was to cause worshipers to "be the more inflamed with the love of God.". In short, Cramer believed that making much of Jesus through our worship was a key ingredient for igniting hearts that were passionate for following and proclaiming the message of Jesus. I believe the same is still true today.
Connecting with one another authentically is one of the core values of Calvary Parkside, and one of the best ways to connect with others is through our Sunday Adult Discipleship class. This class meets every Sunday at 11:00am. This Sunday is a perfect time to join this class, as they will begin a study in the book of John, focusing on the last days of Jesus. I hope you will consider checking out this opportunity to further your relationships at Parkside.
See you Sunday.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." Romans 15:13
This Sunday, March 12, at 9:30am, we launch a new chapter as Calvary Parkside. Our Vision: To make Jesus non-ignorable in Beaverton and to the ends of the earth. Our Mission: To glorify God by making joyful, passionate disciples of Jesus Christ. Our Core Values: To WORSHIP God passionately; to CONNECT with one another authentically; to GROW to know God deeply; and to GO, SHOW and TELL the gospel boldly.
As followers of Jesus, we have been called to live worthy of God's glory. It's an immense calling that God gives the church. As the apostle Paul wrote: "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen" Ephesians 5:20-21. More than 50 times in Scripture, God makes it clear that everything, including us and his church, exist for his glory.
As you prepare your heart and mind for this Sunday, pray this prayer:
"Lord, this is all about you! This is not my church, this is Your church. This is the bride of Christ that Jesus died to save. Lord, be glorified in us. Be glorified in this church. For Your glory alone, Lord! Amen."
This Sunday at 9:30am, we will continue our series, Encounters with Jesus. Last week, Larry Annes kicked-off our series by looking at the story of the paralytic from Mark 2. What started out as a story about four friends, desperate to see their paralyzed friend walk again, quickly turned into an encounter with the Son of God, who provided not just physical healing, but more importantly, forgiveness of sins.
This week, we will unpack the story of two touches from Mark 5. Two touches that reveal for us the heart of God. That God loves us. That God looks on us with compassion, affection, and protection. And that God desires only the best for his children.
Note: Don't experience the horror of arriving to church as everyone else is leaving! Don't forget to "Spring Forward"! Set your clocks ahead one hour before you go to bed on Saturday night.
Praying is a great way to begin "Connecting with one another authentically".
See you Sunday.
One of the surest barometers of the quality of your Christian life is the quality of the Christian relationships in your life. When that deteriorates, you're going backwards spiritually. Acts 2:42 confirms that connecting with one another authentically was a high priority in the early church. When you read the verse, you might be thinking, "And they devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and..." What will be next? Surely, it must be some type of Bible Study or Sunday School class; or, maybe they devoted themselves to missions. I believe today's church views Christian relationships as a nice add-on, maybe the the whipping cream on the dessert of the Christian life--but surely not the main thing, or even the second, third or fourth thing. But fellowship, connecting with one another authentically, is the second thing Luke mentions.
As we continue to be reminded of the core values on which this church was founded, Christian relationships is also our second core value. Join us this Sunday at 9:30am, as we focus on the value of connecting with one another authentically. Authentic fellowship is not superficial, surface-level conversations. It is genuine, heart-to-heart, conversations, some of which you can't have with anybody else. It happens when people get honest about who they are and what is happening in their lives. They share their hurts, confess their failures, reveal their doubts and acknowledge their need for help and prayer. Why would anyone seek out this type of relationship? Because it helps us grow spiritually and because the Bible tells us too. James 5:16 reads, "Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed." Consider joining us on Sunday and learn the spiritual value of Christian community. In preparation, take time to read Hebrews 10:19-25 and ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart to the importance of fellowship in the life of the believer.
Following the service, our adult Sunday school class will continue its study in the book of Acts. Make plans to stick around after the service and experience Christian fellowship.
Before I close-out this edition of TAB, I want to share with you an opportunity to practice our core commitment to connect with one another authentically. As many of you are aware, Tonya Erhardt, the daughter of Tom and Teresa, and the grandaughter of Dennis and Mary Stevens, has been battling a rare form of bone and cartilage cancer. This has required extensive chemo and radiation treatment. We are thankful that during her last visit, her labs showed that the lesions on her eye socket and lungs have reduced in size...PRAISE GOD! Please continue to pray for complete healing.
One side-affect of her treatment is the loss of her hair, which in this weather, can make for a cold head! We would like to show our love, support and encouragement for Tonya by presenting her with a collection of beanies and scarves that she can use to keep her head warm. We will be sharing more about this opportunity on Sunday, but wanted to get the word out to those who may not be able to attend church this Sunday. If you would like more information about this opportunity, you can email the church at email@example.com, or speak with Jo Leiby on Sunday.
Thank you for being a praying church.
See you Sunday.