Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It was a real joy to be with you last Sunday. I felt the Spirit among us as you came with open hearts to share in worship together. If you missed the sermon on Sunday, you can listen to When God Became King at our website or on iTunes.
Remember that you can access the sermon audio, slides, small group discussion questions, and the bulletin for the week with each new installment at granthamchurch.org.
We continue our Ancient Words series this Sunday with a message entitled, The Suffering Messiah. We will be looking at Isaiah 53 and how Jesus uniquely fulfills what is truly the greatest Messianic prophecy in all of the Hebrew Scriptures. I hope you will join us for a wonderful time of worship.
We will once again light the Advent candle, hear from the children’s choir, the adult choir, and sing praises together. We will also be partaking in communion together as we reflect on the Lord’s table and its direct connection to the prophecies of Isaiah 53.
As we look back together, particularly over the past 6 months, I pray that we can see a directed flow and a movement of God’s Spirit. As your Senior Pastor, part of my role in the church is to be sensitive to how God is moving and to help guide us in that direction.
What is he saying? What is the story that is unfolding from week to week? As I’m sure you’re aware, if we’re not plugged in and faithfully present, it’s harder to see that story.
Therefore, I want to encourage everyone to be present and stay connected to the Body, especially during a season that has the power and potential to shape us by its liturgy. Let’s continue being intentional in hearing God’s voice in community and experiencing him in worship together.
This month you will begin to hear how we as a church want to follow the Spirit into the new year. One of the ways we believe the Spirit is leading us is to dedicate most of January to the topic of race and reconciliation. We look all around us today and see pain, injustice, and the deep divides brought on by irrational fear and prejudice.
Unfortunately, these problems are often compounded by the partisan politics of the day.
As the people of God, how can approach the topic with a deep love for our neighbor and a concern for the Scriptures? What does it mean to follow Jesus through Samaria as ministers of reconciliation? How does God want the Grantham Church to respond in our local assembly? What is our part? And what difference can we make in manifesting more of the Kingdom at a local and regional level?
I have been working with the Missions, Peace, and Service Commission to plan a series called: Christ, the Church, & the Multi-Ethnic Kingdom.
Beginning Sunday, January 8, we will enter into a time of listening, reflection, and a congregational discussion around this topic. Our youth and adult Learning Communities will combine into one class to study the Scriptures and discuss the book “Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism” (Herald Press, 2016) by Drew Hart.
Books will be available on Sunday, December 18, in the foyer.
Drew Hart is Assistant Professor of Theology at Messiah College and he travels regularly to speak at churches and conferences around the country. Drew will be here for Peace Sunday on January 29 at 9:00 a.m. to speak to the combined class. He will then preach in the 10:30 a.m. worship service.
Here is the lineup of speakers for worship in January:
January 8 – Woody Dalton
January 15 – Hank Johnson
January 22 – David Flowers
January 29 – Drew Hart
I’m excited about what God wants to speak to us in January. Stay tuned for more details.
Finally, please be in prayer for the new year. Pray for all that God wants to do in us and through us as we take on the rewarding task of becoming his disciples and proclaiming the good news that God is reconciling the world to himself through Christ our Lord.
See you in worship!
Grace & Peace,
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