"Connected" (Guest Speaker)

I hope that this Update finds you healthy and joyful wherever you are today.  I know that we still have a handful of our FCCers out with the flu or other physical issues, but it was nice to see a fairly full house this week, as the majority of our church family hale and healthy.

We continued our missionary focus for January we heard from our ECC missionaries serving in China.  After a fun and creative interactive sharing during our Adult Sunday School hour (where we played a version of “Jeopardy” to find out more about their mission to Shanxi),

In other FCC news, the Leagues are house-hunting out west this week (so please be praying for them), Marge Beall is recovering well from her fall back in December (and hopes to be back with us soon), and we’ve started up scheduling some meals to be brought to the Stensons as they settle in to taking care of the newest Stenson, baby Jane (so please contact the office if you’d like more information on that).

I’ve also been asked to remind everyone that our annual Super Bowl Party is coming up next Sunday (the doors open at 4:30), and that our annual Valentine’s Day Dinner is coming up on the Saturday after that (tickets are on sale now).  Both of these events are about more than just the event itself -- they’re excellent and fun opportunities to invite non-FCCers who might not have a church home to something fun and engaging, filled with good food and warm fellowship (well, and the Valentine’s Day Dinner proceeds go to benefit our Youth Group, so that’s a good thing, too).  So even if you can’t join us yourself, please consider extending an invitation to others.

In our message this week, our missionary shared about the critical importance of being “Connected” -- the community of Christ being connected to one another and the church being connected to the world around us, but most importantly, Christians being connected to God.

He talked about the Mount Sinai experience, and how the later tabernacle was essentially a “portable Sinai” that allowed the Hebrews to take that radical connection to God with them as they moved.  Later, the Temple in Jerusalem afforded people a focal point of connection with God.  And then Jesus Christ was our “Immanuel,” God living with us, in even more radical, personal connection (in fact, John 1:14 says that Jesus “tabernacled” among us).  Through Christ’s death and resurrection, God has adopted us, connecting us into His own family.

So today, the Church itself is that place of radical connection with God -- a place where the people of God come together as family, so that we can go out and be God’s family to the rest of the world.  But so many of us still live as orphans, assuming that God only loves us temporarily, or conditionally, and that we’re not good enough to love. 

But we have a new life, a new identity in Christ -- and it’s worth living out with one other and in the midst of the world around us.

What an awesome privilege it is to be able to genuinely live out the joy of the love of God!