I trust that your Easter was enjoyable such as things have been and hopefully a little memorable given all the uniqueness to our current times.
Perplexed but not in despair
Now that we are many weeks into these days of staying at home, caring for our family and neighbors by keeping distance and the resulting impacts on our lives, emotions and culture, the hardships begin to mount and the strain builds and it may feel like this will never end. What value is there in these moments? How does Christ use such strange times in his mission to redeem the world? I think some of the key to answering this question is found in the words of Paul in his letter to the Corinthians:
2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (NIV) 7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.
Hard pressed, perplexed, struck down are all feelings that sound very familiar. The passage shows that what we are experiencing is common to all humanity and that God uses it so that his power, grace and glory can be seen more effectively. We are simply jars of clay, ordinary vessels but containing the extraordinary love and grace of Christ. The combination of those facets displays the person and work of Christ beautifully and powerfully to a broken and hurting world in such need of hope. Make no mistake there is inexplicable value in what is happening in our lives right now for the cause of Christ and his mission in our culture. Huge opportunities to share the "perplexed but not in despair" paradox so that hope becomes a more saturating contagion than suffering and fear. This triumph of Christ can and will mark our times through the impact of the lives of his people to those around us. Cracked pots with hidden treasure. Here's another link with more if you like: https://newgrowthpress.us11.list-manage.com/track/click?u=2d6b51194bd2443a9c94f9819&id=1e966fed39&e=16824f06ac
Cancellations & Live Stream Services
It's hard to believe that we have been away from public gatherings and worship for 6 weeks now. We do long to be back to our regular life and schedule and we hope to be as soon as possible of course. The session and I continue to stay up to date with our community and how it is responding to the need to stem the tide of the pandemic and how we can best be a partner in that process. As you will remember, public services and activities have been suspended through the month of April. Of Course, we will let you know in the coming weeks as any further cancellations will be necerry, Until then, we encourage you as the book of Hebrews has, "not to give up meeting together...but encourage one another" We may be separated physically but bot relationally. Many continue to reach out and connect through various media sharing helpful words and experiences and concerns. We also encourage you to join us each Sunday at 10 am for the worship service live stream. The link is below (and the bulletin is attached) which you can use and share with others who may find it helpful.
We love you all and we are praying. Stay in touch with us and one another. It's so encouraging to hear that this is happening so much. Let us know what needs or concerns for prayer you have and we are happy to contact you in any way to desire to pray with you and offer and help or encouragement you need.
HANOVER VALLEY PRESBYTERIAN BULLETIN
April 19th, 2020
Call to Worship
Here in This Place
Lay your burden down, every care you carry
And come to the table of grace, for there is mercy
We come just as we are, and we're all unworthy
To enter Your presence oh Lord, for You are holy.
Chorus: We lift our heart, we lift our hands,
We fall on our knees and pray
To the King of kings for the love You bring is here in this place
We raise our voices, raise our songs, we offer You our praise
You're the King of kings and the joy You bring is here,
You are here in this place.
Fill our lives with praise, show us Your forgiveness
And give us the faith to believe that You've redeemed us.
You are Lord of all and we give You glory.
All honor and power and praise, for You are worthy.
Corporate Prayer of Confession
Father in heaven, you have brought your kingdom into the world through Jesus. Your kingdom has begun to spread its healing reign into our lives and into our world. We have begun to taste of your goodness. Yet there is much that remains broken in our lives and in our world. You have told us to live in the hope of your kingdom continuing its spread. Yet we have often lost hope. Forgive our weakness and failure to trust you and for often settling for the mediocre kingdoms of this world: power, fame, money, pleasure. Teach us to trust in your grace. Teach us to live in your hope. Teach us to serve out of your power and forgiveness. In Christ's name we pray. Amen.
Words of Encouragement
I pray that... Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. - Ephesians 3:16-19
Announcements & Prayers of the People
Offering & Special Music
Scripture - Hebrews 11
Sermon - Real Faith
Song of Reflection
Turn Your Eyes
O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There's light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free.
Chorus: Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace
Through death into life everlasting
He passed and we follow Him there
Over us, sin no more hath dominion,
For more than conqu'rors we are! Chorus
His word shall not fail you He promised.
Believe Him and all will be well.
Then go to a world that is dying
His perfect salvation to tell. Chorus.
Parting Song of Praise
Turn Your Eyes (Chorus)
Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of His glory and grace.