Happy Wednesday, FCC!! I don’t know about you, but my heart is still fueled by the joy and celebration from last Sunday. Every Sunday is a great day to be at church, but baptism Sunday is a really great Sunday to be at church. It was such a great day to gather together, and celebrate Jesus’ mercy and 17 people getting baptized. Lives being changed and people dedicating themselves to Jesus. Let’s continue the celebration and be honest about Jesus’ mercy in our lives and invite others to meet him!
In Detroit in the mid-1930’s, three young men hopped on a bus. There was a lone man sitting at the back of the vehicle. The young men, feeling especially prideful and ambitious, tried to pick a fight with him.They insulted him. He didn't respond. They turned up the heat of the insults. He said nothing. They slapped him a couple of times, still he didn’t respond.
Eventually, when the bus came to his stop, the stranger stood up. He was bigger than they had estimated from his seated position. He was much bigger. Before he departed, he reached into his pocket, handed them his business card and walked off the bus and then on his way. As the bus drove on, the young men gathered around the card to read the words: Joe Louis. Boxer. They had just tried to pick a fight with the man who would be Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World from 1937 to 1949.
Can you imagine being in the presence of greatness and missing it, like these young men? Can you imagine being in the presence of greatness and provoking it, like these young men?
When Jesus was being executed, that is exactly what was happening. People were in the presence of the greatness of Jesus and his power and mercy, yet everyone was missing it. Everyone except one.
One criminal executed next to Jesus came to his senses. Both as an answer to Jesus’ prayer, that his father forgive his enemies, and also in response to hearing Jesus pray for his enemies, the criminal turned from mocking Jesus to trusting Jesus. In a simple request, “Jesus, remember me, when you come into your kingdom” (Luke 23.42), this man went from condemnation to hell. For Jesus responded to his request for mercy with beautiful and powerful words, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” (Luke 23.43).
Jesus just promised a criminal paradise. Jesus died that day to secure the promise of paradise for that criminal. In this encounter, we see that there is more mercy in Jesus than there is sin in the criminal. We see in this encounter that there is more mercy in Jesus than there is sin in you and sin in me. Amazing. Jesus died that day, getting what we deserve, so that we can get what Jesus deserves. Jesus deserves heaven and yet he got hell, so that he could give us heaven. Let it sink in deep into the depths of your heart, there is more mercy in Jesus than there is sin in you.
You and I have an opportunity to do what the criminal was unable to do that day. We get to build our whole lives on this great mercy and extend it and share it with everyone around us.
This Sunday, Pastor Tim Prince will be closing out the Encounter series. He’ll share with us a story of an encounter that Jesus had with two men after his resurrection from the dead. This encounter is one of my favorite stories in Luke. The surprise and shock of followers of Jesus—who thought Jesus’ death was the end of their hopes—realized in that encounter with Jesus, that it wasn’t the end, it was just the beginning. Jesus was raised from the dead, and everything was changing.
Watch or listen to the sermons in the “Encounter” series at fcchudson.com or the FaithBase app.
Want to listen to this week’s worship music playlist? FCC is now on Spotify! Check it out here. (You’ll need to sign up for a free Spotify account to listen, if you don’t already have one.)
Psalms 19:7-8 (The Word)
7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; 8 the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;
As part of the Hudson Backpack Program, Faith Community Church provides food and prepares backpacks for families in need at our partnering schools, Willow River Elementary and EP Rock Elementary. Many of the families have difficulty providing food for weekend meals. Backpacks filled with breakfast, lunch, and dinner items are sent home on Thursdays twice a month to assist feeding families over weekends.
Green bags are handed out at FCC one Sunday a month during the school year with a shopping list of items to be purchased. If you’d like to participate, here are some ways you can help:
Heart For The Valley is our Refuge student-led service event that seeks to provide a Christmas meal for those in need during the holidays, as well as giving extra food to stock their cupboards. Students will be packing and delivering meals on Wednesday, December 18. A $60 donation will provide a meal and additional pantry items for one family. Please donate ANY amount, does not need to be $60. DONATE online at fcchudson.com/hftv2019 or on the FaithBase App before November 30! Thanks!
Doors open at 6:00pm. Movie begins at 6:30pm. Refreshments served following the movie.
Does modern astronomy align with the Bible about the story of Jesus Christ’s birth? Come for a FREE showing of the documentary, “The Star of Bethlehem!" Invite a friend, too! LEARN MORE at fcchudson.com or the FaithBase app.
LEARN ABOUT FCC events and registrations at fcchudson.com or the app. Search for “Faith Community Church Hudson” on the App Store or Google play to download the app.
PRAYER REQUESTS + CARE NEEDS are posted on the Prayer + Care wall on the FaithBase app. You can also sign up on the app under “Emails + Registrations,” if you would like to receive an email when new prayer requests and care needs are posted.
Wondering if something at FCC is canceled? Check fcchudson.com or the FaithBase app.