Hello Brothers & Sisters,
I hope this letter finds you living in the reality of God’s love and peace.
Our sermon series continued yesterday with a message called, By the Rivers of Babylon (3 of 9).
The sermon was an invitation to lament. Our primary focus was on the words of the prophet Jeremiah and the devastating loss he experienced, seeing God’s people taken into exile. We were challenged to accept that our culture is shifting and the church is no longer living in an America that affords her special privileges and favors.
Just as Jeremiah wrote to the exiles in Babylon, I believe the word of the Lord to the church is to accept our new socio-political situation and prepare ourselves to live in a post-Christian world. What does that mean? How can we do that? Well, first, we must grieve what has been lost. It is the only way our minds can move on in faith.
It may seem like a strange thing to invite people to accept their loss and lament. I think if we’re honest, we probably don’t lament very well. Anger comes easily enough. Out of fear and frustration we often lash out and want to fight what has (and is) happening to us. But I don’t believe this is what Jesus would do, nor is it what he wants for us.
If we can learn to lament our losses and cry, just as Jesus did over Jerusalem, we are then able to see the Spirit empower us for a new season. We can experience the power of God amidst exile. In the next two messages we will be in the book of Daniel. From there we will see how God is able to do great things while his people live in Babylon.
As the series continues, we will move from accepting our exile to learning what it looks like to live there.
Remember, our story is not one of hopelessness. The Lord has not abandoned us. On the contrary, he is preparing to move in spectacular new ways that will give us opportunities to experience the power of the gospel from a place of humility and low position. I pray that the Grantham Church will welcome what the Spirit is bringing to us.
Finally, I want to remind you that if you’d like to go deeper with the sermons, please consider joining a small group this fall. Our small groups will be using discussion questions based on the Aliens & Exiles sermon series.
If you’re not a part of an active small group this fall and would like to be, please contact Ron and Barb Burwell, our Community Life Pastors, at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
P.S. Melanie Schubert’s last day as our Office Assistant is Thursday, October 6th. If you haven’t already, please let Melanie know how much you’ve appreciated her and her gifts over the last few years.
Grace & Peace,
* The following post was first sent as an email to all church members. If you would like to receive the weekly email from the pastor, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org