NEW SERMON SERIES! This week we begin our Come Together Bible Study series, focusing on the topic of unity in the body of Christ. The western world idealizes individualism, which often leads to fragmentation. In contrast, the church is meant to be a place where unity is encouraged and lived out—a haven where life is lived differently from the rest of the world. In this series, we will discover what the Bible says about how we as Christians can live in unity with one another.
FROM PASTOR SHAUN’S DESK… Greetings Church, In our efforts to grow spiritually, we are wanting to explore and discover the spiritual giftings of each member of our congregation. I would like to begin by encouraging those who feel led or gifted in teaching biblical instruction and discipleship training to contact us about opportunities to put those gifts to good use. Also, for those desiring to be equipped in these areas (that should be all of us), please reach out to us as well. Ephesians 4:11-13 tells us, “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Blessings on you all, Pastor Shaun Higgins
ON THE LIGHTER SIDE… At Sunday School, the children were learning how God created everything, including human beings. Johnny was especially intent when the teacher told him how Eve was created out of one of Adam’s ribs. Later in the week, his mother noticed him lying down as though he were ill. She asked him, “Johnny, what’s the matter?” Johnny responded, “I have pain in my side. I think I’m going to have a wife.”
DIGGING DEEPER Fill in the blanks using the words in the box below. Last Sunday, Pastor Shaun preached from 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. He said when we surrender our lives to Christ, “the old is gone; the new is come”–because __________is risen! He said there ought to be a noticeable difference in us as we die to self daily–because Christ _risen! He said it should be evident to everyone who knew us before we gave our lives to Christ that we are changed people–because Christ is ! And because we have been reconciled to God through Christ, we are to be _______of that reconciliation to those around us! As Pastor Hunter said at the Good Friday service: Let us be reconciled–to the Father and to one another. It would be ______________to do anything less. After all, if God is willing to reconcile us to himself by sending his only Son to die for our sins, how much more should we be _________to be reconciled to one another. Remember, Church, He is not here! He is risen! May we be ambassadors for Him–for His glory!
willing hypocritical is Christ risen agents
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS There will be no adult Sunday School class for the next five weeks as we take a break and plan for the next session starting in mid-May…stay tuned!
THANK YOU TO… All those who brought Easter lilies for the Sanctuary last week! Robert for the delicious cake he brought for our after-service fellowship on Easter Sunday! Marlys Dupleich for assisting with collating in the office! Rick Gettis for mowing the grass on the church property!
FROM PASTOR MALCOLM Thank you, Midway family, for your prayers for me in my recent hospital adventure and in the days following. God still heals, and I am blessed to be a living answer to your prayers. While there remains much we do not yet know (including the source of the bleed), and additional tests and procedures lie ahead, it remains true on multiple levels that, as the song says, strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord. God bless!
FROM HOLLY DOWSING’S CORNER… Bible Study insights from this week’s passage: Psalm 133:1-3 Here in this Psalm of Ascents, the travelers were all Jews (or Jewish converts) coming together for a common purpose, that of fulfilling one of the mandated Feasts to the LORD. Their hearts and minds were focused together on the LORD, in obedience and worship. Imagine the children in this group, for perhaps they exemplify this feeling the most. Here they are, making the trek together to the Temple in Jerusalem with all their relatives and friends. Maybe this is the only time they get to spend time with their cousins, etc. What joy they must have felt! And for the parents, spending time with relatives, sharing the toil of the trip together, while at the same time not worrying about what their children were doing because they knew that they were surrounded by like-minded friends and relatives. “Behold! How good and how pleasant is the living together of brothers, even in “unity” [“together, alike; all at once; all together”]. David likens this unity, this being “all together at once” to the anointing oil that set Aaron and his sons apart to perform the duties as the High Priest and priest, acting as intermediaries between the people and the LORD. Exodus 30:22-33 (particularly 31-33) says that this anointing oil was specifically made for setting apart the items used in service in the Temple and the High Priest and priests who performed the services before God in the Temple. It was not to be used for any other purpose. In fact, if anyone used it for any other purpose, it was punishable by being cut off from the rest of the Jewish nation. The priests were the ones responsible for representing the people before God and offering their sin offerings to Him to garner their forgiveness and well-being. This precious, fragrant oil was the final part of their being set apart to this function. Therefore, one of the best ways David could think of to express his experiencing the festive atmosphere and delightfulness of this unity of the people during their pilgrimage to Jerusalem was to liken it to the wonderful fragrance of the oil of anointing poured out on Aaron and his sons. He also likened it to the refreshing dew that fell on Mt. Hermon, becoming streams that refreshed Jerusalem itself on Mt. Zion. The water of life; God’s blessing on Israel. How does this apply to us? Both the oil of anointing and the water of life represent the Holy Spirit. The church is called to be of one purpose, one focus leading to obedience and worship. Only as we are “one” in this way can we be a source of refreshment to the world and act as priests to bring people before God to obtain forgiveness and well-being.
April 11: Rev. Shaun Higgins, Psalm 133:1-3
April 18: Rev. Shaun Higgins, Ephesians 4:1-6
April 25: Rev. Shaun Higgins, Colossians 3:9-15; Matthew 19:6
May 2: Rev. Shaun Higgins, Acts 9:31; Revelation 7:9
CHURCH & OFFICE INFORMATION The Church Office is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Office phone number: 206-878-4861 // Office email: firstname.lastname@example.org Sunday Morning Worship Service: 10:00 a.m. in the Sanctuary (or online at live.midcov.org) Newsletter Editor: Lori-Lee Morse