Cancelled?

Many churches are saying worship is “cancelled” for the time being. But is it really? While church buildings may remain closed, and the worship that happens inside those walls may be on hold for now, churches—that is, the gatherings of the People of God (NOT the buildings, or what happens in them…), are STILL worshipping in varieties of ways. In that very real sense, while services IN many church buildings, including the Twin Falls Church building are not happening this Sunday, worship is NOT cancelled!

God calls us, equips us, and is PRESENT with us, to worship in all times and places. One of my most memorable lessons in seminary was about what IS worship—whenever the people of God gather to pray and share the scripture together, THAT is worship. So please WORSHIP WITH US this morning—not at our building, but in your homes, while you are walking in this beautiful day that the Lord has made, with us digitally on Facebook with other congregations together (link below), wherever you can!

Remember Jesus’ powerful words—“And remember I am with you always, even to the ends of the earth” (Matt. 28: 20)

Let’s worship!

Pastor Jim

A New Hope ~ (beyond the movie)

Kids are excited for a new year and getting back to friends and activities at school.  I’m excited when I DON’T have to write out a date to show how slow I am by still writing “2019.”  Kids get excited about all the possibilities of trying new things.  I get excited when I can find a way to get out of trying yet another new thing.  I can’t even type the right numbers into computers—I meant to type in “Matthew 19” to review the context for this month’s memory verse, and got chapter 26 instead.

My mistake was enlightening, though.  Just a few chapters after our memory verse at Matthew 19: 26– “With God all things are possible,” Jesus is already facing plots to kill Him.  I wonder, if Jesus was still thinking that “With God all things are possible” when facing such threats, or when they finally acted on those threats?  I’ve got to tell you, I really struggle with this passage.

Yet it is AFTER all the plotting, and even success in torturing and putting Jesus to death, and after Paul’s own bouts with torture and prison, when St. Paul reiterates the same theme “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil. 4: 13).  After all, the Jesus who went through torture and the cruel death of crucifixion, just a few days later, rose again to life!  So while I still struggle with this theme, I must say that I struggle in faith, trusting that where my understanding fails, Jesus’ promise prevails.

There have been MANY times in my parental and teaching life, helping kids struggle through all kinds of challenges big and small (and when the kids have been both small and way too big!), when this promise has seemed so empty.  Yet the old proverb springs to mind “Hope springs eternal”—especially in the eager young hearts of kids.  Perhaps it is our job as parents and teachers to feed that hope, to point to the source of that hope in Jesus, even when Jesus Himself went through so much in His love for us.

Each new year brings A New Hope—not just as the beginning of the Star Wars saga, but a new beginning in each life’s saga.  It is both our privilege and duty as parents and teachers, and any with the opportunity to share wisdom with younger souls, to be “the Force” one might say, to guide others into their own New Hope—most truly found in Jesus!

Let’s not get bent out of shape and lost in struggling to write the new date, but instead get lost with eager young souls around us, in the wonder of the New Hope that always comes this time of year!

May the (TRUE) Force be with you—Rev. Jim