jesus heals

Email From the Pastor

Hello Brothers & Sisters,

I hope this letter finds you living in the love of Christ. Take comfort in knowing that he is now with the Father interceding on your behalf.

Our Jesus Heals series continued last Sunday with the message, Living in a Warzone (2 of 4), and we concluded the service with a moving time of reflection and prayer. Thank you for being engaged with your heart and mind in our worship services. It’s always a blessing to see how the Spirit is working through our worship and response.

In the first two sermons in the series, I felt it was important to address two big items that have become controversial in our culture today. The first being the credibility and believability of miracles. If you’re looking to go deeper with the topic, check out Craig Keener’s 2-volume work,Miracles. Keener’s book deals with miracles in the Gospels and in contemporary times.

Reminder: Come hear Merle and Ila Brubaker share a personal story of physical healing this Wednesday night at 6:00 pm in A1.

And this past Sunday I brought before us another challenging concern that is central to the New Testament—the reality of the devil and demons. Whether you’re skeptical or just looking for a fun, refreshing read on the topic, I encourage you to check out the book Reviving Old Scratch: Demons and the Devil for Doubters and the Disenchanted by Richard Beck.

You can get these books and more in our library. Currently, we have a nice shelf in the lobby with suggested reading for our healing series.

From my perspective, as people who believe that the Scriptures are inspired and authoritative, as well as a guide to faith and practice, we can’t talk responsibly about healing without addressing what is foundational to the Jesus story and to our understanding and adopting a New Testament worldview.

As a pastor, part of my calling is to help the church affirm this worldview and see the difference it makes when we live accordingly. Most of all, I pray that our application of the text will lead us to discovering that this is actually how things really work in the world.

I hope you will join us for worship this Sunday as we look at two healing episodes that show people doing whatever it takes to get to Jesus for the healing that they need. Following the sermon, we will once again have a time of prayer and response. For those who desire it, we will also be anointing with oil and laying hands on you for healing (see James 5:14).

Finally, you may have noticed that we are regularly seeing an average of 400 in worship on Sunday morning. Over the last 6 months I have mentioned a few times that we have a need for a better way of recording attendance for Learning Communities and the Worship Service. Why?

The primary reason is so that leadership (staff, deacons, teachers, etc.) can more promptly respond to pastoral needs and concerns. We do not want people to be lost in the crowd. For example, we recently learned that someone wasn’t in church for a month before someone noticed they were absent.

We are planning to try out a new process next month, beginning with our Learning Communities at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday morning. There will be someone in your class who has an electronic tablet that is connected with our church management software, Fellowship One. We expect that this digital recording process with be much more efficient as we seek to effectively pastor those in our care.

We will start recording attendance in Learning Communities on Sunday, June 4. Stay tuned for more details regarding the process for the Worship Service that we will be trying out later this summer.

Thank you for your willingness and support in trying new things as we do our best to keep up with what the Spirit is doing among us.

Have a great week! See you this Sunday.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David

* This 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 office@granthamchurch.org

Email From the Pastor

Hello Brothers & Sisters,

This past Sunday we began a new 4-week sermon series called, Jesus Heals. If you missed the sermon, you can listen to Healing is Here (1 of 4) at our website or on the go via our podcast on iTunes. As always, you can get the sermon slides, the bulletin, and the small group discussion questions at our website.

In this first message, I began by addressing the believability of miracles and focused a bit more on the physical aspects of healing, since we will be looking at various examples of these kinds of miracles each week. While physical healing wasn’t the only kind of healing in view on Sunday, it seemed fitting to start there in the introduction.

Also, I wanted to address that in the first message so we can move on from the credibility of instantaneous miracles of a physical nature to thinking about multiple levels and different types of healing that Jesus makes possible.

As I said on Sunday, the Lord is willing to heal you. Do you want to get well? Please be thinking and praying about the areas in your life that need the Lord’s healing touch.

This coming Sunday we will go deeper in thinking about the problem of evil and suffering. Why are things the way that they are today? Why are some healed and some not? Should we always pray for healing? Why does it seem like how God answers our prayers is arbitrary?

I will invite us to consider how we are living in a warzone---a real struggle between good and evil. I’ll share my understanding and perspective on the many factors that make knowing “why” certain things happen mostly unknowable, but still offer us a hopeful way forward through our pain and loss.

Also, I’ll be helping us think about how we can pray and seek healing in the midst of this present evil age. Despite living in a broken world where spiritual war is continually going on around us, we can know that God is for us and not against us. We can rest assured that he is fighting on our behalf. And we can know that healing and wholeness is possible on this side of glory.

I believe the Holy Spirit is leading us through this series, so I look forward to hearing the stories of healing that come out of the next few weeks.

Finally, you may recall that not long ago I informed you that Jennifer Whitcomb stepped down as secretary of the church board. I wanted to let you know that Neil Weaver has graciously agreed to serve on the board for the remainder of the year as an at-large member. We are very happy to have Neil join us as we discern together how God is leading Grantham Church.

Please be in prayer for each other as we keep our hearts open to the movement of the Holy Spirit. May God continue to bless Grantham Church.

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David

P.S. We have a big announcement coming about our new Worship Arts Pastor! Stay tuned for that in the next couple of weeks.

* This 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 office@granthamchurch.org

Email From the Pastor

Hello Brothers & Sisters,

I suppose it was only a matter of time before I got sick. Sickness has been making its way around our congregation and it has been in my house for over a month. Unfortunately, I missed Service Day, but it allowed me time to rest and recover. Thank you for your prayers. And thank you to all those who served their neighbors on Sunday. I hear we had a great turnout and you blessed others in Jesus’ name by serving those in need. Rich Stuebing will be sharing a brief reflection during announcements at the beginning of the worship service this Sunday.

As I said last week, we are starting a new 4-week sermon series this Sunday called, Jesus Heals.

It’s no secret that there wasn’t full agreement on who Jesus was and what his mission was all about in first century Palestine. Some believed he was the Messiah and others believed he was a false prophet and a blasphemer. But according to our early historical sources for Jesus (Christian & non-Christian), everyone agrees that he was a healer who performed many miracles.

Jesus Heals is a series that looks at various episodes in the Gospels that reveal Jesus to be the Son sent by the Father who is able to heal by the power of the Spirit. The healing ministry of Jesus is evidence that he is Lord and that the Kingdom of God is arriving in him. This isn’t merely a display of his power, but of his compassionate love, mercy, and grace.

In our upcoming series, we are all invited to discover Jesus as the great healer of our souls. The New Testament tells us that we can bring all of our hurt, pain, diseases, and afflictions to him and receive his healing. However, we also know that we live in a complex, fallen world, and that there are spiritual forces of evil that oppose the healing God can bring. So, we have a role to play.

While it’s clear that God intends to heal and restore all things when Christ comes again, we also know that a certain level of healing is possible in the present evil age. What should we think about all of this healing stuff? And most importantly, are we experiencing the healing touch of Jesus in our lives? Are we becoming wounded healers ourselves?

I expect that the sermons to come will challenge us in various ways. The church in the west looks at healing and miracles with a great deal of skepticism, so I pray that God will open up our hearts to see and experience what was central to Jesus’ ministry (healing) as an ongoing work of the Spirit today. What might that look like at Grantham Church? What needs healing in your life?

I hope you’ll join us during the month of May as we explore the healing ministry of Jesus and ask the Holy Spirit to further the Kingdom in us and through us.

May God continue blessing Grantham Church. See you on Sunday!

Grace & Peace,

Pastor David 

P.S. Immediately following the service on Sunday we will be showing appreciation to Matt Fahnestock, our worship arts intern. This Sunday is Matt’s last Sunday as an intern at Grantham Church. Matt is about to graduate a poor college student and is currently looking to lead worship in a like-minded church. We have already asked that you send cards to the office, but I’d like to personally encourage you to give Matt a financial gift as well. I was told that he could use a new guitar to help lead worship in his first church. If you would like to give, please do so by Sunday. Thank you!

* This 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 office@granthamchurch.org