April

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Awaken Sermon Series

A note from pastor Jonathan on our April sermon series…

As the pastor of Beale, one of my greatest joys and privileges is getting to walk alongside families in times of crisis. There are moments during these times in my ministry that have become something of a rhythm for me. For instance, on my way to a funeral service, I never listen to music in the car. Once I step out of the car, I’m talking or speaking until the day’s end. The only moment of silence I can offer the deceased is often when I’m driving to preach their funeral. It’s a very simple, and until writing this newsletter, a very private way I usually pay my respects to the dead, and give thanks to God for their life. In these moments, God often awakens in me a sense of His grace and mercy for the deceased, and a sense of thankfulness for the ways I knew them in this earthly life.

I think we probably all have such private moments from time to time, Perhaps a moment of tearful mourning, or perhaps a private moment of joyful elation. Too often, church culture enforces the idea that worship is only public, but some of my most worshipful moments in life have been completely private – just me and God. Too often in our busy and harried lives, we fail to take these private moments for reflection as the opportunities that they are, to hear a word from the Lord.

Our April sermon series, beginning on Easter Sunday, is called “Awaken.” Awaken is a word that can be a synonym for resurrection.

Quite often, the moments where God awakens something in me are not big moments, but small ones. Embracing the resurrection living God desires for us does not require showy religion or devotion. God’s awakening comes in reflecting on Scripture, through a baby’s laughter, in the opening buds of Spring, and even in those holy moments where death draws near.

I believe with all my heart that God desires to awaken something beautiful within our congregation, as we continue our journey forward as a church. I believe God desires to birth a fresh sense of unity among our people, even as both of our worship services continue to grow and reach different individuals and families.

Each week in April, beginning Easter Sunday, we’ll ask two questions: 1) “What is God awakening in you?” and 2) What is God awakening in us?”.

I invite you to pray for our deacons, who are going on a retreat to camp Piankatank on April 7th, where they will prayerfully consider these same questions in conjunction with receiving training from denominational field consultant Eddie Heath, who helped guide our church through transition in the last two years.

God’s awakening presence come in a number of ways. In the weeks and months ahead, I challenge you to find God in the small moments in life, and then share with a church friend or family member what God is awakening in you.

Blessings,

– Pastor Jonathan

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