Don’t forget to change your clocks this week, or else you’ll accidently be early for church!
October 30, 2020
“I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
– Philippians 4:13
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!
It is hard to believe we are at the end of October! What a year it has been. As I write this, the sky is full of rain from Hurricane Zeta – the first time we have ever had to dig that far down in the list of storm names. What else will this year bring? And will we find anything resembling “normal” in 2021?
Our scripture passage this week is perfect for this roller coaster. It contains two of the most quoted scriptures in the New Testament – “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” (Phil 4:13) and “My God shall supply all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus” (v. 19).
As we have heard, Paul is writing these words from prison. He describes his experience by saying, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want” (4:11-12). He has faced beatings and shipwrecks and all kinds of persecution. Now he sits all day chained to a Roman soldier, awaiting his trial before Caesar. And yet he says, “I have learned to be content.”
How does he do it? This is where the famous quote comes in – “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Look at the context here. He is specifically describing how the Lord has given him strength to face all of these circumstances and find contentment. His contentment doesn’t come from the circumstances. It comes from the Lord.
Imagine if someone said to you, “I have learned to be content whatever 2020 brings. I know what is to be in lockdown. I know what it is to have plenty of toilet paper. I have learned the secret to being content in 2020, whether sick with Covid or free to move about the country. I can do all this through Christ who gives me strength.”
Even writing that, I realize how badly I need strength from the Lord. This has been a hard year for all of us. But God is faithful. He is here with us. He has been at work even while it feels like everything is falling apart. He has been here in 2020. He will be here in 2021, and He will be with us even to the end.
As we hold onto that hope, I pray with Paul for all of you, May our God meet all your needs, for strength, for contentment, for grace, for peace, even for toilet paper, according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.
Communion this Sunday:
Please be preparing your hearts for receiving Communion this Sunday.
Stewardship Sunday will be November 15.
We are sending out our stewardship mailing with pledge cards and Time and Talent sheets this week. Please be in prayer about how God is calling you to honor Him this year with your money and life.
We are now offering in-person Sunday School for all ages. We only have three rooms in the church with enough space and ventilation to be able to gather safely, so we will only have three groups for now: Adults will meet in the sanctuary, Children in the Fellowship Hall, and Youth in the MacDonald Room. The unified adult class is sponsored by the Lamplighters and will be a hybrid format, so those who want to attend via Zoom will be able to do so. This is the link to log in at 11:15 - https://duq.zoom.us/j/97403542430 Pastor Steve will be leading the class, based on the Introduction to the Bible class he also teaches at Duquesne University. If you would like to be on the email list for the adult class, please let us know at email@example.com
In addition to these Sunday School offerings, we have several small groups meeting online almost every day of the week, and we have groups for Tweeners, Middle School and High School, Young Adults, and coed groups, as well as the Lamplighters Sunday School class. The women’s group is studying 1 and 2 Thessalonians, and the men’s group is studying the Bible’s guidance about issues of race and justice. If you are interested in becoming part of one of these groups, please contact us at 412-531-3387 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Hour of Prayer:
A group of us gather on Zoom every Sunday at 7pm to pray together, and we would love to have you join us! Zoom is now requiring a password for our meetings, so please use this new link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/92561964416?pwd=NmZoNDV3dDNqSVFubW82TEx0bll0Zz09 (for a computer, tablet, or mobile phone). You can also call in from a regular phone – dial 1-646-558-8656 and enter the Meeting ID - 925 6196 4416 and now add the password 798565. For more info, contact Pat Gaudio at email@example.com.
As always, please let us know if there is any way we can support you or connect with you during this season. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, with any needs, prayer requests, or just updates on how you are doing. And you are always welcome to call us at 412-531-3387.