FCC, you encourage my heart so greatly! I just heard an initial report from Options for Women with an update on the baby bottle fund raiser initiated two weeks ago. Two hundred forty bottles were distributed, and so far 110 have been returned. And with those 110, you gave $8730.76. That’s awesome! Thank you for your generosity and helping to renew the Valley through Options for Women!
Also, if you still have a bottle, would you please return the bottle to FCC as soon as you are able! Let's see if we can break $20K together with the remaining bottles!
In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
In my personal Bible reading, I began the book of Job this week. The book of Job is amazing for a variety of reasons. But one stood out to me again as I began to read. Job introduces us to a unique kind of suffering. Innocent suffering. Job is a righteous man, and yet all this suffering comes into his life, not because of anything he did. And the author is compelled to tell us, that as Job responded to his suffering, he did not sin in response. The fact that Job's suffering is innocent is a strong theme of the book. Job's friends don't have a category for innocent suffering. As they see it, there is only one reason for why Job is suffering like he is; he must have sinned in some way. Their view is a type of predecessor to Karma. You get what you deserve.
Because Job is in the Bible, it is important to remember, that as we suffer and as others suffer, the suffering might not be because of our sin. We must keep a category of innocent suffering in mind as we counsel one another. We also need to keep in mind the reality of innocent suffering to help us have hope in our suffering. We need this, not only because we might suffer innocently, but also, because it is through innocent suffering that all of our suffering will eventually be healed.
The book of Job is not just about Job and his friends. Job is an innocent sufferer who is a foreshadow of the great innocent sufferer. Job is also about the one who is greater than Job, The Innocent Sufferer, Jesus himself. Jesus is the truly innocent sufferer, who suffers not because of his sin, but for our sin and suffering. Jesus willingly became a suffering servant, who suffered, though he never sinned. He suffered innocently for our sin, so that one day all suffering will cease, and all tears will be wiped away.
There are some things we will suffer, and just like Job, in this life, we may never get a reason for why we suffered. But just like Job, we can trust God, who brings us through suffering. And we have even more reason than Job to trust God, because we know that in Christ, God took on human flesh and suffered innocently for us. In suffering, we can trust a God who suffers for us to heal us one day from the pain.
This Sunday we will follow up the sermon on Confess with Forgive. Just like me, my church family, immediate family, friends and neighbors, will need my forgiveness. This Sunday we will learn about what forgiveness is and how to get the power to forgive as we have been forgiven. As a follow up to my sermon on Confess, please invest a few minutes to remind yourself of what the 7 A's are and to view a model of a 7 A confession. Check out this link on our website.
Did you know that you can now watch the sermons online at fcchudson.com? We hope this will help as a discipleship tool, if you’d like to watch a sermon again or share it with a friend. We also offer an audio recording of the sermon. Watch or listen to last week’s sermon at this link.
Along with the Just Like Me series, we are asking that everyone read “The Art of Neighboring” during the first quarter of the year. I am hearing some encouraging reports that this book is reshaping how we view and care for our neighbors. Have you had a chance to read it? What are your thoughts about what you’re reading? Please send your stories to email@example.com. We have copies for purchase in our café area, or you can order your own following the link above.
Want to hear a replay of the announcements that were shared before the service on Sunday? Check it out at fcchudson.com here.
Because of some of the unique challenges of pastoral ministry and for leadership development, Faith Community has a Sabbatical Policy for our pastors. So periodically a pastor will go on Sabbatical to rest, refresh and recharge. This year Pastor Larry Szyman will be going on Sabbatical starting March 1. He will be on Sabbatical for three months. During that time, he will be resting and recharging. He will also be investing focused time on some extension ministry opportunities. Please pray for him during this time. We are very grateful for his ministry!
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Want to help serve with meal prep or cleanup for Alpha Community Night? Please contact Gary Nourse at 651.260.7236 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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