Friday, January 09, 2015

            I confess to getting stuck on the terrible events going on in Paris with the terrorists killing journalists and then the hostages in the final confrontation with the police. And even now people are speculating about whether these events are over or not. But that’s what news attempts to do, to let us know what’s going on, whether that is about sports, the economy, politics or weather. We have a hunger to know what’s happening in our world.
            On Friday morning I spent over an hour with Pastor Sameh from Kasr el Dobara at the home of Maggie and Amir Mikhail. I felt like I was in the center of the newsroom for the spiritual life of Egypt. I pumped him with questions and he told me thrilling news of what’s going on in the church in Egypt! But even more than that, his account told me what Jesus is doing in the world today. I have invited Pastor Sameh to preach at MCC on Sunday and I can’t wait to hear more good news!
There is a lot of darkness out there to be sure. The news media feeds on our fears and a lot of bad news like the killings in Paris. But that’s not the whole story. There is more light than darkness. God is on the move in some big and exciting ways. And that’s also the theme for this season in the church year: Epiphany. Epiphany is all about the light that  shines in the darkness and will not be overcome.

So be sure to come to church on Sunday to hear “what’s really going on!”

Friday, January 02, 2015

Epiphany Season begins

         Epiphany is one of my favorite seasons in the church year. It is the period of time between January 6th and Ash Wednesday (February 18). I like it because its about the growth and spread of the Gospel from the arrival of the Wise Men to the maturation of Jesus and the calling of his disciples into ministry with him.
This Sunday we will begin a new series of sermons that will go through the season of Epiphany examining the book of Philippians along with the Gospel readings on the life of Jesus.
Why are we beginning this series? It seems like a natural outgrowth to our emphasis in 2014 on “Welcome one another just as Christ welcomed you to the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7) We have been sincerely working on being a church that intentionally practices welcome to the new and to the old, to the stranger and to the friend. The book of Philippians is a great picture of what we are welcoming each other into: the church. So each Sunday will be an exploration into what kind of life it is that we are called to live together.

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