eNews - March 19, 2019

Dear FPC family and friends,

        This past Sunday I spoke about the shooting in the mosque in New Zealand and made the statement: “The shooting deaths at the mosque are a direct result of people like us unable to deal with the change that is happening in our world…As Christians we are not willing to accept that our religion should be considered as important in civil society as any other.” I learned a long time ago that apologizing and saying that you are sorry is hollow if you are not able to catalogue and list your sin and then take steps to address it in a constructive, proactive way. As people of the first world who are used to being in power and now we are afraid because things are changing around us, so that fear manifests itself in either violence or a support of those who have a nostalgia for the days gone by, this is the sin we have to identify and do everything we can to distance ourselves from those who would lead us on a rabbit trail that insists on its own way. I Corinthians 13:4-5 comes to mind as we take direct responsibility for the shootings and look for ways to help people like us to turn from what we see as an injustice (shifting cultural and societal norms) to a celebration that all of God’s children have equal value especially if they are different from us. Did you know that we have a strong and vibrant Muslim community here in Lancaster, PA? How many of us reading this enews has a single friend, or even knows personally a single Muslim? Look at your Facebook account and see how homogenous it is. If you don’t have Facebook then consider your friends and see if you spend any time with people who look different from you, believe different from you, and think different from you. I have found in my travels and in my life that I become more informed and that my faith deepens as I learn from people who are very, very different from me. As we head deeper into our Lenten season, a time when we confess our sins and take action to address them, it is a good season to take steps to purposefully find ways in which we can broaden our circle of interactions. We spoke at the beginning of this season that we are called to a fast. The fast that Scripture commands that we take is the one found in Isaiah and Micah: “Is not this the fast that I choose, to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them…” (Isaiah 58:6-7) Micah 6:8 presents a similar fast as we read: “He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” As we focus on this fast that we have laid out above I can’t encourage you enough to seek out people in this spirit of loving kindness and walking humbly. If you currently find yourself with people who are not focused on either of those things, take a break from them this Lenten season. Take a fast from friends, social media, news, associations, and organizations that speak to you a very different message from what we read in the Scripture above. Take a fast that would redirect you to a reality that is grounded in Scripture, and not grounded in the vitriol that has been created within our culture and our society. Take a fast from saying or writing things that create division instead of reflecting a love for kindness and humility. It is, after all, the Christian thing to do. Your servant in Christ, Pastor Bob HAPPENING IN THE LIFE OF FPC… Mission Trip Informational Meeting: We will be traveling to North Carolina June 9-15 to help with clean-up efforts after last year’s hurricane. An organizational meeting will be held Thursday, March 21 at 7:00pm. Cost is $150. Thank you for your egg cartons! We are at a place where we think we have enough at this time. We will let you know when to pour it on again should we need them again. What a great response. Thanks! FPC March Madness: It is that time of year again, some would say the most wonderful time of the year. If you want to participate in the FPC basketball bracket challenge then follow this link. You will need to register for an account, it is 100% free, but the cost might be your pride. If you need help signing up electronically come into the office and Karen can help you get set up. 


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