Happy Wednesday! Here comes TheUpDate!
Daughter, your faith has made you well, go in peace (Luke 8.48).
In Luke 8.43, we are introduced to an unnamed woman. This is intentional, because from a social, economic, and religious viewpoint, she is a nobody. But she was desperate for Jesus’ help.
This woman was suffering for 12 years from what we would call uterine bleeding. This condition was not only physically painful, but it also isolated her. We don’t know if she was married or not, but her condition would most likely mean that she would not be able to get pregnant. And depending on what her husband was like, he could try and use this as a ground for divorce. But we do know that according to the Jewish Law, any kind of bleeding, would render the woman ritually unclean (Leviticus 15.19), and unable to participate fully in her local synagogue.
She also had to be careful what she touched. She was considered unclean. Whatever the unclean touched became unclean. So, she lived with a profound sense of shame and isolation on top of the physical discomfort. And just like today, when health care costs can put us into difficult financial situations, she experienced that as well: Luke tells us, “And though she had spent all her living on physicians, she could not be healed by anyone” (v 43).
There was nothing more that the doctors could do for her. But just because no one else could do anything to help, that didn’t mean that Jesus couldn’t do anything.
The woman believed Jesus could still do something. So, as Jesus pressed through the crowds, she discreetly came up behind Jesus and touched just a fringe of his garment and Luke tells us: “Immediately her discharge of blood ceased” (v 44).
When no one else can do anything, Jesus can still do something! Jesus knew that he was touched in a way that was different from all the other people pressing in on him. Jesus wanted to highlight what had just happened. He wanted people to know about this woman’s faith in him and how he healed her.
So, Jesus asked, “Who was it that touched me” (v 45)? Everyone denied touching Jesus, but he pressed to highlight what happened. Eventually, knowing that she was not hidden from Jesus, she came forward. She told Jesus all that had happened.
Caring for her, and letting the crowd know that she was healed and why she was healed, he said: “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace” (v 48).
Not only did Jesus heal her physically, but he was also restoring her socially and religiously. He publicly pronounced her clean, restoring her to participate in the synagogue. No one should isolate her anymore. The shame was gone.
Jesus met this woman where she was, but he didn’t leave her the same—he cared for her. She may have been a nobody to everybody, but to him she was a somebody—he called her daughter.
The time and care Jesus gave to this woman shows us that no matter who you are, what you have done, or what’s been done to you, or what struggle you have right now, you matter to God.
Let your heart rest in his care for you.
We are continuing our Encounter series this Sunday with a story about Jesus encountering a rich, young leader (Luke 18). In many ways, this man had everything going for him. But there was one thing he lacked, and it was the hardest thing for him to gain. Pastor Steve Holsteen will be preaching this Sunday, and I’ll let him fill you in on what that was. I am excited for you to learn from this powerful story through Pastor Steve's teaching.
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.)
We’re dedicated to helping everyone meet, know, and follow Jesus. One of the ways we help our friends and neighbors meet Jesus is by inviting them to church. Thank you for continuing to invite people to FCC! Because we’re inviting, we are experiencing an increase in the number of people attending our Sunday morning worship gatherings. God be praised! To help maximize our seating, we’ve made some slight adjustments to the seating arrangement on the north side of the sanctuary. In the seating areas in front of the Family Room, we’ve added a couple more aisles.This gives more entrances into the rows.
Could you please also help with a couple of ways we help welcome our guests on Sunday mornings? If you see open seats in the middle of a row, could you please move to the middle, to allow for open seats along the aisles? And, if you are able to park in the lower lot or away from the entrances, could you please park in those areas? Thank you as we continue on mission together to help as many people as possible meet, know and follow Jesus!
We don’t want you to miss a thing on Sunday morning, so reminder: Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend, so turn your clocks back on Saturday night, and we’ll see you on Sunday morning!
Younger women will learn about the call that Titus 2:3-5 has for older women to mentor those who come behind them. We’ll share the training material that the mentors use, and focus on positive intergenerational relationships that provide enrichment and growth for all women.
New Titus 2 mentee groups start every February. Watch a video and learn more about Titus 2 at fcchudson.com or the FaithBase app. Watch for information on the Mentee Breakfast planned for January 18, 2020, 9:00am-11:00am, as we get closer to the date, at fcchudson.com or on the FaithBase app.
To help you get to know Faith Community’s elders, pastors and staff, we highlight one leader each month, sharing some of his or her story, along with information on how he or she serves at FCC. This month, FCC Elder John Blum shares his story:
I am the second youngest of a family of nine children and son of an alcoholic father who had lived most of my life in fear of rejection and being disregarded. It is always difficult to point to one environmental factor, but I was full of insecurities in part due to the emotional instability, unsteadiness and tension at home that my father’s alcoholism brought about, some of which I, and my siblings, blamed on ourselves. Looking back, my mission in life seemed to be focused on “being included and to be well regarded.” This tended to be demonstrated most visibly when I was in elementary school where I was the “follower”—the one doing anything to belong. I was the “lookout” for my friend as he shoplifted, broke into cars. I joined with him in many other things that I am not particularly proud of because he was a person who included me. I wanted to please him. Later in life, I would find myself apologizing for and agonizing over the slightest of disappointments I may have left someone (or myself), for fear I might lose that person’s acceptance.
So I tried to achieve my mission by becoming “good” and “good at things” and thus earn favor with as many people as possible, so that I would be “included and well regarded.” This meant, for example, being good at things, like athletics, academics and eventually my “title”— in some ways, my choosing to be an “architect” gave me an identity that I thought would be “well regarded” and respected among others.
So I began focusing on being “included” and becoming “well regarded.” The effort was, however, exhausting me with a sense of overwhelming inadequacy that I was constantly trying to overcome—I tried to outwork and be friendly to everyone, while making them feel that I wasn’t actually competing with them. You see, being a good person is essentially a selfish endeavor—I was doing it so I might feel good about myself and be accepted. Trying not to disappoint others and myself was a pit I kept pouring myself into, and one that stressed me to a breaking point. I finally relented, later in life at age 32, after being discipled by a group of colleagues and my boss at a well-known firm that, at the time, represented for me the fulfillment of my aspirations to be “well regarded and included.” I recognized that, even though I had reached what I thought was the culmination of my years of study and work, that there was nothing truly satisfying there. I remember actually asking myself, “So this is it? This is what the rest of my life is supposed to be like?”
But through the discipleship with these men, with Jesus, I realized I was included in something much bigger than my present identity. I gradually began to believe I was already “highly regarded,” at no cost to myself, and that all I did to impress others was unnecessary. Jesus loved me as I was and am. I could, in faith, have an identity in Jesus that I could never find with anyone or anything else, nor need to strive to impress people to make them “value me.” My lack of confidence from continually disappointing myself and others was being replaced with confidence of His promises.
So now, with Jesus, I rest knowing that it is real, he loves me as I am. I am now included in an inheritance in his kingdom and only with him and through him can my mission be completed. The first real test occurred immediately after I accepted Christ. I knew then it meant beginning to give away my identity in titles and professions—I needed to walk away from my professional identity—something I poured 14 years of my life into, but was now severely encroaching into my time and focus with Joanne and the boys. My distractions, long hours, my sense of duty and responsibility to my professional identity, was in fact an act of self-protection that would have eventually destroyed my family. So I had to leave and start over. This was an incredibly difficult decision and one I struggled with for a very long time, but in His incredible grace he renewed me, and I am so very grateful.
Now, being retired, I am asked again to give up my titles and identities, which I am glad to do. I am able to support many others, engage in ways that use the skills from my work life in ways I couldn’t have imagined. Jesus included me, and through him I am being continually sanctified and can say with confidence, I am now “well regarded” by the one who matters.
John serves as an Elder at Faith Community Church. He led the last facility expansion project and is currently leading a task force on FCC's growth and development. John traveled to Uganda with Pastor Larry Szyman earlier this year in support of FCC’s goal of seeing an African-led, disciple making, church planting movement takes root in northern Uganda (You can read more about their trip on the FCC blog). He and his wife, Joanne, live in Hudson, where they serve as Missional Community leaders in the Grandview neighborhood. You may also see them in the Connection Center on Sunday mornings. John and Joanne have four adult sons, Jacob (32), Nicholas (30), Zachary (28), Seth (24), and two grandchildren.
Baptisms are planned for both services on Sunday, Nov. 17. If you are following Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, but have not been baptized as a believer, please sign up by noon on Monday, November 11, by emailing Becki at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pick up a “Believer’s Baptism” brochure at the Info Center for more information. Questions? Please contact Pastor Tim Prince at email@example.com.
Ps. 103:8-9 (Repentance)
8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 He will not always chide, nor will he keep his anger forever.
Christianity Explored is an informal and relaxed seven-week course for anyone who has pondered what life’s all about. It gives you time and space to consider the life and person at the heart of the Christian faith—Jesus Christ. Each session includes discussion, a short DVD segment and a time for questions.
Over the seven interactive classes, we will explore Mark’s Gospel to find out who Jesus is, why he came and what it means to follow him. Please join us and bring a friend!
REGISTER for Christianity Explored (and childcare) at fcchudson.com or the FaithBase app.
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/hftv2019or on the FaithBase App before November 30! Thanks!
We look more like Jesus and experience the joy of community when we serve each other, our neighbors, and our city. Check out these service opportunities (and 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.