On Sunday, May 3, The Christian Church of Milford reopened for worship, teaching and socially distant fellowship! It wasn’t much, but it felt like a real step in a positive direction. In this post is the worship, communion, and announcements from that day as one video, and then the lesson, titled “The Camel and The Rich Man”, as the other video. Our live Drive-In service currently reaches about a block in each direction from the building, broadcasting on AM 1610 with the option of acquiring a larger antenna to reach all of Milford when we feel the need and finances justify the expansion. Each week the service will also be recorded, edited and posted here on our website for those who want to enjoy following Jesus with us online. We are still praying for safety and recovery from the physical and financial challenges this virus has brought, but we are encouraged to see God moving us forward through the difficulties.
“God created us. Sin broke us. Jesus chose us, and we must choose Him. When we do we will grow to be like Him, and eventually we will go to be with Him.” This frame work of the Good News of Jesus Christ was started in part 1 with clarification of who we meant by God, the dangerous trust He place in us with free choice and His image, the damage done to us by choosing sin, and the early attempts to establish covenants that would fix humanity’s problem of being broken by sin. In part 2 we talk about the cross that Jesus chose and the new covenant that His blood opened for all who choose to put their faith/trust in Him. This New Covenant that we enter by faith makes it possible for us to be transformed and grow as new lives filled with the Holy Spirit. Heaven is our eternal hope when this life is over, but there is plenty of adventure to face, difficulty to overcome, and abundance to enjoy until that day comes.
There is nothing like a health and economy threatening virus to make people ask about the meaning of life, God, and what happens after this. In short, understanding the Gospel seems more important at times like these. We think it is important for you to understand the Gospel all the time and to be able to explain why it is good news when people are asking their important questions. This is part one of a two part lesson.
Recently there have been stories in the news, questions in our minds, and concerns from others regarding the future, the church, and the impact of decisions made to be too close to people too soon. We tend to rely upon others to tell us when something is okay or not, but in this uncharted territory of social distancing and public health, it can be difficult to know who to trust and who really has the authority to be trusted. This week’s lesson is a guided discussion between our Elders, Ron and Larry, and me, Pastor Steve. Spoiler alert – we don’t have any absolute answers either. But, perhaps in the discussion you will hear the Spirit speak to you about the balancing voices that give us reliable guidance and the certainty that God always moves us forward through difficult choices (even when all we want is to go back to the way things used to be). His desire is not for us to live in fear and dread, but to draw close to Him and to overcome the challenges that keep us socially distant from one another. When others ask, “Is That Okay?” be prepared to confidently say, “God is in control, and that means that it will all be okay.”
We want to encourage everyone to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ well enough to share it with others. To assist in this ability we have developed a small DIY booklet that you can download, print, fold, staple and cut for yourself, or stop by the church building to acquire some we have already made. Instructions: 1. Download the .pdf and print on both sides of one page (flip on short edge). 2. Fold the longest edge in the middle, keeping the CCM logo (front page) on the outside. Do this three times. 3. Staple the middle of the final fold to bind your booklet. 4. Use a knife or letter opener to cut all the outer folds, separating the pages. Done.
The back has a simple color-coded statement to help organize your thoughts (or share the gospel with someone in imminent great peril). The middle has an expanded version of that statement that might work as an “elevator speech”. The other pages expand those ideas further for guidance on an actual conversation (in case your elevator gets stuck between floors for several hours).
He is RISEN! Ring the bells! Shout the news! Proclaim it far and wide. The grave is defeated and victory over sin has been won, for us! Now, live into that revolutionary reality, but maintain social distancing for just a little longer. Music suggestions to go with Easter are as follows, The Easter Song ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mG8Tko3BzHk or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VYITh2V-yjs ), Empty Grave, a new country (?) one by Zach Williams ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFxmPonKXkQ ), and a fun classic by Carmen, The Champion ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1kA3OX9NZk ). Of course, you can search YouTube for your favorite Easter hymns as well. I found several good ones, but I like the acapella, and folk stuff more than the choral or Southern Gospel. So enjoy the message and take some extra time to worship with some favorite music.