Well, here we are in week two of not being able to assemble for our regular times of worship. To be honest, it is somewhat disheartening and depressing to think about.
Earlier this week, I watched a video that just, well, it was a real “pick-me-up”. It focused on Psalm 118:24 which reads, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” And the speaker made a point that I had never really thought about.
Psalm 118 is part of what is known as the “Hallel”. Psalm 113-118 were psalms that were read during the Passover.
The first couple of psalms were read before the feast and the last four (Psalms 115-118) were read after the last cup, that is, when the feast had ended.
The night before He was betrayed, Jesus celebrated the Passover with His apostles. At the conclusion of the feast, Jesus would have recited the final four psalms of the Hallel.
What this means is during the final night of Jesus’ life on earth, only a few hours before Judas would betray Him and He would be tried, convicted, and executed...Jesus recited, “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
In our times of dark despair, when we are feeling isolated, lonely, disheartened and depressed, I would encourage all of us to look to the Scriptures for comfort.
The Psalms are an excellent choice of what to read, as may are written from an anguished heart.
On the darkest night of Jesus’ life, He was able to joyfully chant, “This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
In these “dark” times, let’s be like Jesus. Let’s remember and joyfully chant: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it!”
Below is the text of a One Call Now that I wish had not been necessary. But because we love each other and care for each other, it was necessary.
Hello Eastgate family. Many of you have been asking questions or wondering about our services during these uncertain times. The elders have made the difficult decision to cancel services and all other church activities until further notice. However we are going to have an online option. We will be airing our services, including songs, prayers, time for the Lord’s Supper, and sermon on our YouTube channel on Sunday morning at 10:45 AM.
We realize that not everyone has a computer or the capability to view services online. If you do not have access to the internet, please call the church office and we will arrange for a nearby Eastgate member/family who does have internet access to allow you to join them on Sunday. If you are willing to be a host, please call the church office as well and let us know. This should be done as soon as possible to make arrangements for this Sunday.
If you have a computer and internet access but are unsure about how to find our YouTube channel, there is a link on the front of the church’s webpage that will take you to our YouTube page. Or just go to www.youtube.com and search for Eastgate Church of Christ and click on the one that has my picture.
One concern you may have is the Lord’s Supper. We will have the bread available in zip lock baggies for you to pick up under the awning on the south end of the church building between noon and 3:00 PM on Friday. For the fruit of the vine, we recommend picking up a bottle of grape juice for your family. If this is not possible, please call the office prior to coming on Friday and we will make arrangements for you. If this time is not convenient for you, please call and make arrangements with either Skye or me for a time that will work for you.
As for the collection…the church does still have financial obligations during this time and the elders have asked that you either mail a check to the church (PO Box 57) or drop your check by the church office during our normal office hours.
These are unusual times and the elders ask that you continue to pray that the disruption that this virus has caused and the virus itself will soon pass. Thank you and have a blessed day.
From the world of current events, well, there seems to be only one thing on everyone’s mind...the coronavirus. A word that just over a month ago very few people would even know is now a word that strikes fear into those who see it.
I’m not trying to minimize this new virus. I’m not saying it is nothing to be concerned about. I would encourage you to take the necessary precautions that medical people suggest.
What are these precautions? Wash your hands often with soap and water (or an alcohol based hand sanitizer); avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; stay home when you are sick; cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
I’ve even heard that if you are reasonably healthy, you likely will not be susceptible to the virus. And even if you do contract the virus, you will likely make a full recovery.
The coronavirus is a virus that seems to be attacking people. In some instances it can be deadly...but in other instances it may just cause some discomfort for a few days.
There is, however, another virus spreading among humans. It is a virus that has a 100% death rate among those who contract it. It is the virus of sin.
In Romans 6:23 Paul tells us that the wages of sin is death. Three chapters earlier, he tells us all have sinned. So we all have contracted this deadly virus, not because of what Adam and Eve did, but because we made the deliberate choice to sin.
Fortunately the cure has been provided. Fortunately God sent Jesus so that He could die on the cross, shedding His precious, perfect blood, to cure the deadly sin virus.
We are so concerned with taking every precaution to avoid the coronavirus. I just wonder, are we taking every precaution to avoid the far more deadly sin virus?
Last year, in the August 7, 2019 edition of the bulletin, it was announced that we were going to be having TWO “Neighbor Days” in 2020: one in the spring and one in the fall.
It was also announced that these special days of outreach would correspond to 5th Sundays (aka “Agape Sundays”).
Guess what? March 29, 2020 is fast approaching. March 29, 2020 is the first 5th Sunday of 2020. March 29, 2020 is our first “Agape Sunday” of 2020. March 29, 2020 is also our first “Neighbor Day” of 2020!
Truth be told, I had forgotten about having two Neighbor Days this year until the elders and deacons meeting last Sunday night. In that meeting, we set a goal of having 125 souls present...so everybody is going to have to help by inviting their neighbors.
Truth be told, I feel God was at work in beginning our Sunday morning series on fellowship...because it fits nicely with the concept of Neighbor Day.
On March 29, 2020 the sermon is going to focus on “Our Life Together: An Accepting Fellowship.”
Acceptance seems to be one of those “hot button” topics. How do we show acceptance? Who do we accept?
Obviously we are going to be a fellowship that calls people to leave their life of sin, like Jesus did to the woman caught in adultery, for example (see John 8:1-11).
But what about things that are not “lives of sin” that seem to divide us? We’re going to talk about that on March 29, 2020.
Of course, on March 29, 2020 we will start the day with our wonderful Bible classes for all ages.
Of course, on March 29, 2020 we will share in a meal after our morning worship service.
Of course, on March 29, 2020 we will not have evening services.
Now when is our first Neighbor Day of 2020?