Not Normal, NEW!
By: Rachel Billups, Senior Pastor
I spent last Saturday at the mall with my entire family. Perhaps some of you caught my social media post about shopping with our family of six. It had been over a year since we had been at the mall, and let’s just say it was pretty stressful. Four kids with four very different needs and two parents attempting to meet those needs? Well, you do the math. Even though we divided to conquer, within an hour my husband Jon and I felt very conquered. Why? Why put myself through all that stress? Because I was searching for normal. The stress of being in a mall with four kids is normal. Simply walking around in a mall feels a little bit normal. And, a four-year-old losing it after 90 minutes of shopping? NORMAL. Honestly, normal stress was refreshing after the year we’ve been through – a year where many of us have given up on normal. With changed school schedules, lockdowns, partisan politics, job loss, nothing has seemed normal. But, perhaps this season we are in called Lent has helped us out. Lent is already characterized by sacrifice, giving up stuff and turning to God. Maybe many of us feel like we’ve been living out an entire year of Lent. Perhaps God’s invitation through all of this has been to let go of the stuff that separates us from loving God and our families and our friends, and to embrace a new normal, a new way to be human. Certainly, that’s God’s invitation throughout Holy Week. Holy Week signals that there’s a new way to be human. We are invited to a new way of experiencing the world within its suffering and injustice, to a new path forward in this massive God experiment we call life. Holy Week may culminate with Easter, but Easter isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning!
 
Many times we’ve made Easter a destination rather than a starting place, a moment of celebration rather than the birth of something new, an event rather than the launching of God’s new creation. That’s right, in Jesus’ resurrection God ushers in something new—not a get-out-of-hell-for-free card, not an excuse to take a picture with the Easter bunny, not even a momentary celebration. Resurrection ushers in the brand new. Paul said it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” That’s right. Jesus’ resurrection declares that our lives are being made new right here, right now. As Jesus said in Matthew 6:10, “...your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” We can’t just live like hell, treat this world like hell, think that it’s all going to hell in a handbasket and disregard the world around us while we wait for some kind of disembodied heaven. No, Jesus’ resurrection was embodied, full-bodied. God came from heaven to earth to launch something new—God’s kingdom is come and is still coming from heaven to earth. There is massive hope for us yet!
           
I don’t know about you, but I am ready for new. I bet you are, too. Good news: we are an Easter people, a resurrection people, living out the reality of that new creation every single day. So, invite your friends and family to participate in our celebration of Easter on April 3 and 4. Go to ginghamsburg.org/easter for all the info. Whether you host a watch party at your house or come celebrate in the room, Easter reminds us that something new is on the horizon. Maybe like me you have been searching for normal. Well, let’s forget going back to normal. Let’s get ready for new!

Happy Holy Week,


Pastor Rachel
Rachel Billups
Senior Pastor
Have you saved your seat yet??
In the interest of safety and in order to comply with social distancing guidelines, we’re asking visitors to RSVP for Easter in-person worship at the Tipp City and Fort McKinley campuses. No tickets are involved, we’re just trying to plan appropriate seating as best we can. Click here to be taken to our RSVP form and claim
your seat!
Online Opportunities
First Up
Sundays, April 11-May 5
9am, in-person and via Zoom
Discovery Bible Study
Wednesdays
6:30pm, via Zoom
Listen and Learn
Wednesday, April 21
7:00pm, via Zoom
By the Numbers...
  • Offering this week was $55,941 from 244 individual or family givers.  
  • In-person worship was attended by 393 individuals across both locations.
  • Online worship was streamed over the weekend by 1,375 unique devices on three platforms (YouTube, Facebook and ginghamsburg.org/live).

This Weekend at Ginghamsburg:
Old hurts and habits, the opinions and approval of others will subtly pull us away from faith…but this weekend’s gospel encounter with Jesus tells yet another story of grace. It’s good news for all the dropouts, deserters, quitters and failures: Jesus believes in you and invites you to go all in with him. Join us for celebration and a fresh word of hope –
All in.
Fort McKinley Online & In-Person Worship Time:
Sunday: 10:30am
Tipp City Online Worship Times:
Saturday: 5pm
Sunday: 9, 10:30am

Tipp City In-Person Worship Times:
Sunday: 9, 10:30am