July 17, 2020

In Habakkuk 3:17 and 18 we read – “Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty,18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!”

Habakkuk expresses an amazing attitude of joy in the Lord during loss and failure. Some might call it naïve; a denial of reality. But it shows a depth of relational faith in God any believer in Christ would pray to have. Difficulties, loss, grief, discouragements and uncertainty are not things from which we are immune. Isn’t good to know that even during such times God’s people have experienced joy in their relationship with the Lord through it all?

With new directive from the governor’s office to limit indoor gatherings to 25 people or less, we are experiencing the loss of something that had just returned to us and had sparked a sense of hope for new normal. I want to encourage us to determine within ourselves not to allow this setback to take our joy in Christ!

While we will not be in our building for this Sunday’s worship service, we will be together in worship as Faith Church through our live stream. The service will be formatted just as if we were all present physically together, but we can participate in it from our own homes. I am told that some of First’s folks will be gathering in each other’s homes to watch the livestream together at 10 AM on Sunday! That sounds awesome to me.

You can watch the live stream via YouTube by clicking on this link on Sunday morning:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCmSGX-RPkXNSn0xDGKsjZ5Q Once you are on the church’s channel please click subscribe. This link: http://firstonsecond.org/watch takes you to the live stream imbedded in our website.

Click HERE to open the order of worship for Sunday. You can download and print it to refer to as you watch the stream. It has the song and hymn lyrics, scriptures and readings we will use.

I have been enjoying meeting many of you in person over these past 2 weeks, and will continue to be meeting many more of you in other formats such as zoom or over the phone. Please reach out to those who do not have email or internet access and those who may live alone. Ask how they are doing and see if you can help them in some way in Christ’s name. We will be sending monthly or bi-monthly newsletters via the postal system to keep everyone informed about what is happening at First. Those newsletters will also be available on-line. Please do not hesitate to call me for any reason, even simply introducing yourself to me. My cell number is 717-873-6626.

God bless you and keep you in His loving care through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Pastor Steve


First Lights:

This week’s bottom line for kids in First Lights Children’s Ministry is ‘Knowing Jesus changes the way you see your problems’. I can’t help but think of how the lesson applies to all of us at this point. We are going through some pretty difficult stuff. And there is no getting around it; some of it is just plain hard. But when we are able to see these moments with a new perspective—when we believe that Jesus is with us and that He will never leave us—it gives us hope to see our way through our problems. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to be easy, but it does mean that we won’t be alone.
You can watch our virtual KidMin experiences on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/1stlights
and on our website – https://www.firstlights.org/parentnetwork

Posted in Being the Church.