Have you ever suddenly seen something that you'd never noticed before? That happened to me a few years ago. Someone pointed out to me that the logo for Federal Express has an arrow hidden within it. Have you ever noticed that?
There are many times when we may be looking at something and fail to really see it. The same is true about our lives: we are too often blind to what God is doing in and through the difficulties we experience until we look back with "20/20 hindsight".
That's what Jesus' followers experienced on the first Easter. All they had been able to see was that their dear friend had been killed and all of the hopes they had placed in him were now dashed. But they were blind to what was really taking place and God's ultimate victory plan.
This coming Sunday, April 1st, is the celebration of Jesus' victory over sin, death, and the devil. What everyone saw as defeat was actually the biggest win ever! It's quite appropriate that we are celebrating Easter on April Fool's Day -- as the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:55, "O death, where is your victory? O grave, where is your sting?"
I hope you'll be able to celebrate with us this Sunday!
Back in the 90's, fans of the sitcom "Full House" regularly heard John Stamos' character, Uncle Jesse, exclaim, "HAVE MERCY!" It was one of those all-purpose-catch-phrases that he used when he was happy, surprised, or whenever the writers needed a laugh from the audience. However, I don't believe he ever used it in the same manner that blind Bartimaeus used it when calling out to Jesus for help.
This Sunday, March 25th, we'll be continuing in our sermon series "Can You See Him?" as we look at another person who needed his eyes to be opened. I believe that all of us need Jesus to give us "eyes to see" in one way or another. The question is whether or not we'll cry out to him for healing. I hope to see you on Sunday.
Maundy Thursday Worship Service
Join us this coming Thursday evening, March 29th, at 7:00 pm for an interactive worship experience focusing on Jesus' sacrifice for us. Through music, prayer stations, and communion, we will reflect on the hope we have through Christ.
This past week a brilliant scientist passed away at the age of 76. Stephen Hawking was a legendary physicist who did remarkable work in the area of relativity and black holes. He had lived with the prospect of death hanging over him for decades as he battled with ALS, a disease he was first diagnosed with at the age of 21. There's no debate about this man's intellectual prowess in the areas of science and mathematics. And yet, even as he studied the intricacies and complex beauty of the universe, Stephen refused to see the Creator behind it all.
Many of us find ourselves similarly blinded to God's presence when we're in the midst of circumstances we don't understand. Doubts and unanswered questions leave us wondering what we can believe. Where is God when unexplained tragedies happen?
This Sunday, March 18th, we begin a new sermon series we're calling "Can You See Him?". As we consider four stories of blind people encountering Jesus, we'll be considering the blindness we may be suffering from -- even though our eyes are working fine. I hope to see you there!
The CCC Online Calendar
There are a number of special events and services coming up in the next few months. I listed many of them as a part of my Ponderings last week and Danielle listed them in the bulletin. But you don't need to wait for someone to tell you what's happening -- you can check them out for yourself on our CCC website and calendar.
Our church website is found at http://www.mvcommunitycovenant.com
The church calendar is on the website at http://www.mvcommunitycovenant.com
By the way, if you are planning an event for the church or one in which you'd like to use the church building, please contact Danielle in the church office in order to be sure there is not a conflict and to reserve the space. She only knows the things others tell her (despite her efforts at becoming a mind reader).
In 2000 the rock group Bon Jovi had a hit with the song, "It's My Life". The chorus goes:
It's my life
You may have seen how Jon Bon Jovi referenced a well-know song declaring a similar theme: Frank Sinatra's signature balad "My Way". But it's not just a common theme of pop songs. The sentiment is nothing new. In fact, I think it's as old as humanity. When Adam and Eve first chose to ignore God's one and only restriction in the garden, they were singing this same tune.
Even those of us who are actively trying to follow Jesus can find ourselves trying to take the lead. This Sunday, March 11th, we'll be wrapping up our series "Extreme Makeover: Heart Edition" with the foundational issue: who's life is it, after all? I hope you'll be able to join us.
What's Coming Up?
Here's a quick rundown of things to mark on your calendar:
In Shakespeare's play, Hamlet, one of the characters comments on the moral and political corruption in the kingdom with the statement, "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
A bad odor, whether literal or figurative, is a good indication that something needs to be addressed. If you walked through your house and were assaulted by an offensive odor, you would seek out the source and do something about it. And yet there are times when we know deep down inside what the source of that bad smell is, but we would rather not deal with it. So we just try to ignore it and, before long, we don't even smell anything. Problem gone...
This Sunday, March 4th, we'll be continuing with our "Extreme Makeover: Heart Edition" as we give Jesus the key to the hall closet. While we may live in denial about the dead thing locked away in there, Jesus is ready and willing to help clean things out and give us a fresh start. Are you willing to cooperate?
Save the Dates
Looking ahead a few months:
CCC Church Campout
June 15-17 at Bridgeport State Park
Stay for the whole weekend or just stop by for the day.
Valley-Wide Vacation Bible School
June 25-29 at CCC
It's our year to host VBS and we hope everyone will be a part of it!
More info coming soon
Thoughts about living as a Jesus follower and life at Community Covenant Church