Hope in Christ

March 21, 2016

We are all in a struggle with sin. The Scriptures portray the harsh reality of our condition when left to ourselves. None of us—not one—is able to be good enough by our own strength. This is what makes this season such good news for the believer. We remember that Christ has accomplished for us what we could not do ourselves, and has moved us from the stark reality of hopelessness to the hope that we see in both the cross and the empty tomb. The Hebrew writer encourages us with these words:

 

“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” (Hebrews 12:1b-3, NIV 2011)

 

During this Holy Week, may our minds turn to Christ and may our eyes be fixed on him!

 

After several busy weeks of preparations, the 2016 Illinois Mennonite Relief Sale is now in the books. I want to take a moment to say thank you to the many who volunteered with baking pfefferneuse, pies, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and whatever else. Thanks for those who took off work to help. Thanks to those who traveled for the ingredients, or to purchase the sale items. Thanks to the many who volunteered at the sale in so many different roles. It was gratifying and humbling to watch the way that you all pitched in to help. Thanks to you all, and a special thanks to Imogene Miller to does such a fantastic job of coordination and keeping us all on track!

 

The next month is going to continue to be a busy one here at North Danvers. Please remember the various activities this weekend related to Holy Week. We will be beginning a new sermon series during our worship time on April 3rd. The title is “Hope in Exile” and will be looking at several passages throughout the book of Ezekiel.

 

On April 10th we will have a very special visitor. Ervin Stutzman who is the Executive Director of the Mennonite Church USA will be joining us on that Sunday morning. He will be making a presentation to the adult Sunday School class, and then will have a time of Q and A. He’ll also be with us during the worship hour.

 

There’s still time to invite others to join us for our Easter Sunday worship. I know some of you have already. Trust the Holy Spirit to guide and direct you to those who need to be drawn closer to God. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to encourage others in their faith journey!

 

God bless!

 

Brian

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