After having been out last week with a sudden and rather nasty bout of the flu, it was (on so many levels) so nice to be healthy enough to be able to re-join everyone in worship this week!
We were blessed to have missionary Kyle Gregory on hand to share with us during the Adult Sunday School class and more briefly during the service about his work overseas, as well as his new efforts to create an avenue for cross-cultural outreach through an examination of aesthetics. Beauty may be perceived and operationalized differently in different cultural contexts, but every culture at least holds beauty as a concept and an ideal, and that’s an amazing way to demonstrate God’s handiwork.
Next Sunday, we will be hosting our other missionaries to China who will be speaking again in both our Sunday School hour and worship service. They are a joy to interact with, and we will be eating a church family potluck with them after the services, so please bring enough food to share.
The week after that, on February 4, we will be hosting our annual FCC Super Bowl Party in the evening. Even if you don’t like football, you can still come join us as we interact with our FCC family over food, fun, and fellowship. But if you do like football, then come settle in with us into soft couches and watch the game on the biggest screen in town!
The week after that, on February 10, we will be hosting our annual Valentine’s Day dinner (this year, featuring prime rib!), so if you’re interested in joining us, please contact Sara Diemer or the church office to purchase tickets now.
Because this week was our Sanctity of Human Life observance, the message was brought by Julie Philyaw, the director of Peoria’s Women’s Pregnancy Center. In deciding how we respond to abortion, she asked us to consider four questions:
1) What does God say about the value of human life?
2) What does the Bible say about the shedding of innocent blood?
3) How does the Gospel address the guilt of an abortion?
4) What does God call us to do?
The fact is, all life -- from conception to adulthood to old age -- is sacred to God, and we’re all called to be accountable about protecting the lives of innocents at any age level. Thus, it can seem like the ultimate evil to coldly and blithely take the life of an innocent.
But Christ died to pay for all sin -- even the sins which we might find personally worse than others. There is no condemnation for those whose sins have been washed clean from them -- even the sin of abortion.
So God calls us not just to protect innocents or decry sin, but to offer loving and longsuffering “life support” for those whose lives are intertwined with the decision of whether or not to abort a child. We have to love and counsel, forgive and disciple, encourage and equip, as acts of worship.
What a privilege it is to serve one another for God’s glory!