In worship this past Sunday at First Presbyterian we had a rather unusual biblical text for a Mother’s Day message.
I would need to check with the Vatican and with Presbytery HQ, but I’m not sure if, in the entire history of the church of Jesus Christ, a Mother’s Day sermon has originated from a story about the mass kidnapping and marital enslavement of a large group of young women.
As we concluded our study of the Old Testament book of Judges, we saw again the sincerely depraved reality of human nature. But, as we noted in the sermon, all of the depravity within us and in our world ultimately points us to the good news of our heavenly king, King Jesus, who is able to forgive us our sins and transform our hearts. The bad news in the world, along with the horrifying events of ancient human history, convict us of the deep need we all have for a King who can rule our hearts, shape our minds, and teach us how to love one another. If you were elsewhere on Sunday morning, you can listen to the sermon here.
Looking forward to this coming Sunday, I want to make sure that you have 3 events on your radar and/or in your calendar:
1. This Sunday is “Youth Sunday” and the congregation will be led in worship by a number of our students at both the 9:00am and 11:15am services.
2. The YMEN Community Garden event is this Sunday May 21, 12:30-4:30pm at 2228 S Avers, Chicago.
The YMEN community garden is a strategically important time each spring where many from our congregation drive down and work in the Lawndale community of Chicago. On Sunday afternoon we will share in a cookout with YMEN students and work side-by-side planting a garden in an abandoned lot. It’s a small act but it speaks volumes, why? Because even though Lawndale is a part of Chicago, for many living in Chicagoland, Lawndale is the very last place they’d ever go.
For us, we have friends there. We’re building relationships there. We believe in the people of Lawndale, we respect the work of the kids and leaders at YMEN, and we want to be part of what they are doing. YMEN is building a community garden, but more than that, they are building their community. By going down to help we’re saying, “this is our community too”, the problems of Lawndale aren’t Lawndale’s problems; they are challenges for our community too.
The YMEN garden is part of an ongoing endeavor of First Presbyterian to build relationships of support with our friends in Lawndale. It is an opportunity for us to be physically present in that community and so I’d invite you to pray about this and, if you are able, to make the commitment to join us on Sunday in Lawndale.
3. The Four-Hands Piano Concert, “Hymns of Faith” is this Sunday at 3:00pm in the Sanctuary. The program will include the complete four-hand duets of Mark Hayes -brilliant settings of well-known hymn tunes – plus solo works by Brahms and Liszt. This will be a beautiful, classical music event and a great opportunity to invite friends to experience the performance with you.
Grateful to be serving King Jesus alongside you,