4.18.21 Church News & Pastor Balmer’s Bulletin

News /  Event Information

· Get Your Picture Taken: Gina Thompson will be taking pictures in the left-hand side Sunday School room, near the sanctuary, for a new photo directory. This will take place Sundays before or after church during the month of May except Mother’s Day (May 9th). Please contact Gina to sign up for the church directory photo or for more information.

Her e-mail is: ginarx1227@verizon.net.

· Morning Prayer (online) with Jonathan. This will take place Thursday at 8:30 a.m. on our Facebook Page (facebook.com/@MHBCmoseleyVA). Comment any prayer requests, and join for (virtual) fellowship.The meeting will last around ~45 minutes.

Pastor Balmer’s Bulletin

“I didn’t mean it!”

Our readings of Holy Scripture this week are odd ones. They may be uncomfortable for us. One is about the establishment of Israel’s “cities of refuge” where those who had accidentally killed someone might seek safety from the familiar vengeance of the deceased seeking blood for blood. The other is part of Peter’s speech to the onlookers after a lame man is healed in the name of Jesus, and he accuses them of
killing Jesus, even if unintentionally!

It is never my intention (pardon the pun) to make worship a dour or uncomfortable experience. It is, however, my intention to faithfully lead in worship which is drenched in Holy Scripture. And the Bible can be a “discomfiting” book, as well as comforting. And I hope that anyone with questions will take full advantage of discussing what questions they have about the Bible. While I do not have all the answers, it is very much my business — and all
Christians’ business — to wrestle with what God has to say to us.

A classic scene between siblings who are rough-housing is this conversation:
“OW! You HURT me. I’m telling Mom!”

“No I didn’t, you’re fine! You’re fine! Please don’t tell Mom! 
I didn’t mean to!”

Notice how the defense is twofold: 1) To Deny the Problem, 2) Claim your
intention was never to hurt. (Whether the first child has any fault is another conversation. Let’s assume it’s clear the child is really hurt).

Sometimes I wonder how much many adults have matured beyond this
conversation (if at all). As we think about this “New Way to Be Human” we have seen in Acts, the way of living as Christ’s Resurrection people, may we consider how sin isn’t just something we intend. It’s also things we never intended. It’s a Power, visible and invisible. Recognizing this, will change how we think about evangelism, about Christian living, about our life together as the church.

Martin Luther, the Protestant Reformer, was right when he wrote in his 95 thesis nailed to that Wittenberg door: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.”

I hope these uncomfortable, holy, texts help us consider just that again and again.
I’ll leave us with Pastor Eugene Peterson’s wise words about Scripture:

“We are fond of saying that the Bible has all the answers. And that is certainly correct. The text of the Bible sets us in a reality that is congruent with who we are as created beings in God’s image and what we are destined for in the
purposes of Christ. But the Bible also has all the questions, many of them that we would just as soon were never asked of us, and some of which we will spend the rest of our lives doing our best to dodge.

The Bible is a most comforting book; it is also a most discomfiting book. Eat this book; it will be sweet as honey in your mouth; but it will also be bitter to your stomach. You can’t reduce this book to what you can handle; you can’t domesticate this book to what you are comfortable with. You can’t make it your toy
poodle, trained to respond to your commands.

This books makes us participants in the world of God’s being and action; but we don’t participate on our own terms. We don’t get to make up the plot or decide what character we will be. Eat this book, but also have a well-stocked cupboard of Alka-seltzer and Pepto-Bismal at hand.”
–Eugene Peterson, Eat This Book: A Conversation in the Art of Spiritual Reading

Links / QR Codes of Interest

· 1] “The Jesus Way” by Eugene Peterson (Renovare).

· 2]  “When Do the Latest Hillsong and Bethel Hits Belong in Your Sunday Lineups?: How worship pastors decide whether to sing to the Lord a new song.” by Kelsey Kramer McGinnis (Christianity Today)

· 3] Bible Project Animated videos exploring the Bible as one story of God’s love.

Last Week’s Attendance & Offering

April 11th, 2021

Attendance                              53

Contributions                          $2,533.00

Average Weekly Need            $4,420.00

Average Needs To Date         $55,025.00

Given To Date                         $57,487.00

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