Email From the Pastor

Hello Brothers & Sisters,

If you’ve been with us through Lent, you know that we’ve been in a series called, 40 Days in the Desert: Faith Formed in the Wilderness. We’ve been looking at how Jesus’ time of testing in the desert helped to solidify his character and decide what kind of Messiah he would be. Each week we’ve been challenged to think about what the Gospels want us to know about the temptations, as well as how it applies to our own lives as Christ-followers.

This past Sunday, we looked at the final temptation, in a sermon entitled, No Shortcuts in the Kingdom (4 of 6). I invited us to reflect on what it meant for Jesus to reject Satan’s offer of the kingdoms of the world, and how Jesus refused to take any shortcuts to receive what the Father had for him. I said that we should follow Jesus in this way. Therefore, we too must be patient and wait on the Lord. A major lesson to be learned in the wilderness is that waiting on God’s timing for his provision and promises is a necessary part of being a disciple and deepening our faith. We grow in our faith when we learn to trust God and his will in the waiting.

The next installment in our Lenten sermon series is called, Post-Wilderness Conviction (5 of 6). This Sunday we will look at how Jesus leaves the desert full of the Spirit with a clarity about his identity and calling as Messiah. Jesus returns to Nazareth, his hometown in Galilee, to announce who he is and what he’s come to do as God’s anointed. We will see that Jesus’ time in the wilderness propelled him forward with confidence about the true nature of the good news and the Kingdom which he brings into the world. Join us as we consider how the wilderness sharpens our focus and shapes our convictions as people of faith.

Also, this Sunday we are collecting coins, paper money, and checks that go to supporting Mennonite Central Committee’s (MCC) food programs. The children will help up take a special “My Coins Count” collection during the worship service. The offering received through April 6 will be delivered to the PA Relief Sale on April 7 at the Farm Show Complex. Please come prepared to support this annual offering.

Finally, don’t forget that the following Sunday, Palm Sunday, we will have a special guest speaker. Tony Campolo, author and speaker, will be with us for the 10:30 a.m. service. Tony was first invited to speak at Messiah College, and we were glad to be included in his itinerary. Come hear Tony preach a message called, Third Way Allegiance: Following Jesus in an American Empire.

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday in worship. As you enter the sanctuary and receive a bulletin, you will notice an insert for all our events and services during Holy Week. I hope you will join us for this special time in the liturgical calendar and in the life of our church. I’m excited about experiencing Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday with all of you.

Blessings on the rest of your week. May you walk in step with the Spirit until we gather again as a church family.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David

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