This past Saturday, our own Cindy Leonard organized and led a successful drive to collect mobility aids as part of her ministry with Wheels for the World. There was a nice write up in the MetroWest Daily News last week which spread the word about the collection. Some pictures are available on our facebook page. Thanks to all the TCC volunteers who showed up to help!
Yesterday, June 18 and Father’s Day, we launched our new series “Summer of Freedom.” The early chapters of the book of Exodus don’t sugar coat the reality that we too need to prepare for the long haul in our battles against the “king” of this age and his shrewd attacks (Ex. 1:10; cf. Isa. 30:7; 51:9; 27:1; Rev.20:1). The narrative of Exodus, from the “house of slavery” to “freedom” is a compelling paradigm and a mirror into our own journey. We too are in servitude to sin and long for the freedom from its devastating effects (1 John 1:8). Hope is one of the first casualties in these long-term battles with our own entanglements and unhealthy attachments (if not outright addictions). However, the message ‘right out of the gate’ in Exodus 1-2 is that while God may be silent during our times of servitude and sufferings (which can also last “many days” Ex. 2:23), He is not absent: God hears, He remembers, He sees, and He knows (Ex. 2:24-25). In context, these are all actions verbs with God as the agent. Just as this new transition in the book of Exodus from a family to a nation (Ex. 1:7) is no less than an act of creation (“be fruitful and multiply” and “fill the land” Gen. 1), our deliverance is a promise God, “who never lies” (Titus 1:2) will keep. Our job is to wait and hope in Him. He may be silent for a time (perhaps too long in our minds, so we too “groan”), but when He speaks and acts, it gets loud real fast, as Pharaoh is about to find out!
In case you missed it, you can catch last sunday’s sermon here.
This narrative from slavery to freedom is shared in many cultures and peoples. In the US, we have our July 4th moment, the French have Bastille Day, but they also have June 18, 1940, when General de Gaulle, in exile in London called on the French to rise up and fight for freedom. He was calling his compatriots never to give up (just as Churchill did) in the face of hopelessness following the stunning defeat and surrender of France during World War II. In his own words: “”But has the last word been said? Must hope disappear? Is defeat final? No!”
Questions for the week:
Perhaps you have lost hope in your own struggles with persistent destructive patterns, or you have lost hope for others whom you have seen struggle. In what ways does the Lord want to encourage you this week not to lose hope?
What a great celebration this past weekend with the Pilgrim Fellowship (TCC Youth Group from the 60’s to the mid 80’s) reunion! Over 80 PF alumni gathered on Saturday night to remember together God’s faithfulness. Pastor John Ames, PF alumn, once Wayland High quarter back, and former missionary to la Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa, led the services on Sunday morning. Pastor John’s charge from Acts 20:24, reminds us that a full life comes from a life ‘surrendered,’ ‘completed,’ and ‘focused’ on the grace of God in Christ. He, along with Dr. Rick Sacra (SIM in Liberia) who shared during our missions moment even brought back West African temperatures into the sanctuary as our AC compressors decided to give in precisely on Sunday morning! (Our Facilities team is working on the problem).
This week, we are ready to launch our “Summer of Freedom” sermon series anchored in the Book of Exodus and focused on Christ as our Deliverer. Paul in Romans 6 equates our struggles with guilt and shame to slavery. In the face of an implacable and ruthless master (Pharaoh of Egypt), the children of Israel suffered greatly in the bondage of Egypt. However, Pharaoh would soon meet his match and receive a front row seat experience in the might and power of the Living God to save His People. In the same way Jesus is calling us to freedom. For it is through Him alone that we can be delivered from the addiction of sin, guilt and shame in our lives. As the song says, “Let Freedom Ring!” only this time, it’s not freedom from the Red Coats, but freedom that is far greater and will last far longer than any earthly realm.
My prayer for TCC is that this will be our Summer of Freedom, that we all become spiritual ‘Minutemen’ against the ‘ruler of this age.’ In a culture filled with addictions of all kinds, only the power of God as revealed in Christ will bring us true hope and comfort in this epic struggle for independence.
In His Grace,
Thoughts for the week:
Is there something in your life that you want to be set free from? Many of us carry unspoken addictions, resentments, sin, or wounds that continue to hurt us. If you are feeling stuck or trapped whether by your own choices or because of life’s difficult circumstances, know that just as our God has the power to bring the Israelites out of slavery, God has the power to lift us up out of our slavery to sin, and bring us new life in Christ.
Hi Church! Here’s a note from Pastor Tom – a few thoughts for us to consider as we wrapped up our sermon series, “A House of Blessing,” from Ephesians last weekend. In case you missed it, you can listen to the sermon here:
This past weekend, we concluded our mini-series on the identity of Trinitarian Congregational Church as a House of Blessing. Just as in the 1st century AD, Ephesus was dominated by the towering presence of the temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World), we too sit under the shadow of the great ‘temples’ of our generation that can be so intimidating and overpowering.
We are the living temple.
Yet, in this charged climate, Paul casts a bold vision for us that we too worship in a great temple, only this one is not made with human hands, but built by God Himself: His People, who are growing together “into a dwelling place for God by His Spirit” (Eph. 2:21-22). This House is “blessed with every spiritual blessing” (Eph. 1:3) so that the vision is one of a temple with doors swung wide open. As we have been blessed in Christ, we walk out of Trinitarian Congregational Church and fill the world and the people that the Lord puts on our paths with this message of blessing in Christ.
We have the firmest foundation.
In Christ, we are beloved by God, living no longer like the ‘walking dead’ (breathing but spiritually dead on the inside). In Christ, this building, this House of Blessing stands on a great foundation, not like the tower of Pisa, but more like the Hoover dam, as pastor Kyle reminded us in his sermon on May 22.
Yesterday, on Pentecost Sunday, we talked about the staying power of the Holy Spirit, who is described as a ‘seal’ (Eph. 1:13-14), a ‘guarantee’ that we have until the end (the “day of redemption” Eph. 4:30). This guarantee of safe passage (to switch metaphor from a house to a transoceanic passage) is predicated upon our “standing” against the schemes of the Evil One (Eph. 6:10-13). We stand on the confession of our faith (a defensive “shield,” Eph. 6:16), that Jesus Christ has ‘no rival’ and ‘no equal’ as the song, “What a Beautiful Name It Is” resolutely proclaims; His is the name above all names!
For this safe passage, we stand on the foundation of the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit. We “pray in the Spirit” (Eph. 6:17-18) which anchors our prayer life on the foundations of the Word itself. As we stand together, Paul also reminds us against whom we are NOT fighting: each other. The epic struggle of life in the rough waters of our passage is “not against flesh and blood” yet too many times you and I open this ‘second front’ which distract us from where the real struggle lies: “the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).
We are sustained through the storms.
In the rough and treacherous waters of the North Atlantic during World War II, the majestic liner Queen Mary was commissioned as a troop transport and donned her ‘black and white’ for the ‘light sea grey’ of a combat ship. In the midst of constant threats and punishing storms, the vessel made it through to her current mooring as a restaurant in Long Beach, California, beautiful again in her original regal colors and restored decks. In the same way, the Lord encourages us with this promise of the staying power of the Holy Spirit for Trinitarian’s own ‘passage’: “you are not lacking in any gift (the same language as Ps 23:1, “I will lack nothing”), as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Cor. 1:7-9).
What a journey ahead of us! As we proclaim His Name together, what a comfort to know that the Lord will see us through as we stand together in Him!
Have a blessed week!
How have you experienced God building his temple in your life? Have you felt God calling you to swing your doors open? Have you felt God’s presence sustaining you through the storms? Share your story with us in the comments!
Summer’s coming and we’d like to give our Live the Adventure (LTA) weekly volunteers the summer off. However, LTA runs through the summer and we have up to fifty kids on a given Sunday. Can you help by serving one or two Sundays this summer? If so, please sign up here.
Family Day is June 25!
Lots of volunteers are needed to make this happen, so come and join the fun!
Pick up a Volunteer Form at the CM desk or click here to sign up on-line.
Please sign up to serve by June 7th.
Spend time with our young families and welcome our neighbors…your time might make the difference of a lifetime for our visitors!
This series in Ephesians (into the month of June) identifies TCC as a ‘House of Blessing.’ We have received ‘every spiritual blessings’ in Christ (Eph. 1:3), which in turn allows us to be a blessing to the people the Lord places on our path. The goal of the series is to continue to articulate of model of church life that is anchored in the 21st Century of church life here in Metro-West. This context of pluralistic belief systems in a self-sufficient setting parallels the setting in 1st Century Asia Minor, and Ephesus in particular. We too are surrounded by impressive ‘temples’ (as the temple of Artemis was) and power structures the people of God can never compete with. The blessing of TCC is therefore not quantified with traditional metrics. Paul calls us to measure ‘growth’ in terms of our own walk with the Lord and whether we are ‘infants’ or ‘adults’ in the Lord. Typical models of church growth become irrelevant unless we nurture our own spiritual growth. God is calling us to a deeper commitment to discipleship in the Word and with one another. When people walk out of the building into their God-given sphere of influence, they become themselves a ‘house of blessing,’ a source of blessing in the same way the patriarchs were a blessing to those around them (e.g., Abraham, Jacob and Joseph).
Tom officially begin his duties as TCC’s full time Senior Pastor on June 4.