The Joy of God’s Presence

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Learning for Life9:30 am 
Worship Service: 11:00 am

Bulletin: May 20, 2018

Newsletter: May 2018

Scriptures: Acts 2:1-11Psalm 104John 14:15-27

Songs:

Annabel Robinson

Note: Joel stepped in for Annabel due to illness.

Wouldn’t you have loved to have been there in New Testament times? To be able to follow Jesus around Galilee? To hear him preach from the boat? To see him heal? Wouldn’t it have been much easier to believe if you could have heard him and touched him?

Well, not really. There were lots of people who didn’t believe in him at that time either. And he said to them “It’s to your advantage that I am going away.”

What? To our advantage? How so?

He sent the Holy Spirit, who wears a human face, the face of Jesus himself. The Holy Spirit is a Person, and he lives in each one of us who is a Christian. He lives in us collectively too, as a church. He is alive!

Where is Jesus’ Authority Recognized?

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Learning for Life9:30 am 
Worship Service: 11:00 am

Bulletin: May 13, 2018

Newsletter: May 2018

Scriptures: Acts 1:1-11Psalm 68Matthew 28:1-10,16-20

Songs:

Rev. Joel Russell-MacLean

One of the reasons we follow the church calendar in our worship service (and throughout the week) is to submerse ourselves in the story and enjoy it every year.

The death and resurrection of Jesus was God’s victory over all competing authorities and powers on earth and heaven. We celebrated this at Easter.

This Sunday we will celebrate Jesus moving from this physical realm into the heavenly realm: the Ascension.

Jesus rose from the dead, a physical, human being, and shortly after that, he ascended to heaven, still very much a physical human being. The ascension was something like a victory parade leading to a coronation ceremony.

God the Father gave Jesus the highest position of authority in all of heaven and earth.

From there Jesus asked the Father to send the Holy Spirit, which we will celebrate next week on Pentecost Sunday.

And all of these special days are a picture of how salvation is the work of a Triune God, or the Trinity, and so the Sunday after Pentecost is Trinity Sunday.

Now perhaps as you read this a few questions come to mind. And maybe they are questions that some of the disciples had as well.
Questions like, “Really?”

In the Gospel according to Matthew, at least some of the disciples hesitated and were uncertain when they met Jesus after the resurrection. Matthew doesn’t tell us what they were wrestling with. Guilt? Skepticism? Reluctance?

By ending his gospel this way, Matthew presents a readers with a choice:

  • What do you think? Is Jesus in charge?
  • Will you draw close to him and keep his instructions?

Knowing God Loves You Is Half the Battle

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Learning for Life9:30 am 
Worship Service: 11:00 am

Bulletin: May 6, 2018

Newsletter: May 2018

Scripture: James 1:22-27; Psalm 68; John 16:23-33

Songs

Rev. Joel Russell-MacLean

(Click on image)

One cartoon I loved when I was young was GI Joe. Each half hour show ended with a thirty second public service announcement that taught kids to eat well, to play safe, or how to deal with minor injuries. After the hero taught them what to do, the kids would say, “Now we know!” And the hero would say, “And knowing is half the battle.” (Watch an example).

(See mom, I didn’t just waste a half hour of my life watching that show every day, I learned something important.)

You know when it is God who has taught you something because it tends to change you. But even with God as a teacher, knowing is only half the battle. God always calls people to go and live differently because of what they’ve heard. James put it this way, “Be “doers” of the word, and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.”

Jesus called his disciples to pray saying, “I’m not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf: you will ask God yourself, for God loves you.”

Knowing they could pray to God, knowing that God loved them – it wasn’t enough. They were going to have to pray themselves. Now you know!

The Warm Comforter Comes

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Learning for Life9:30 am 
Worship Service: 11:00 am

Bulletin: April 29, 2018

Newsletter: April 2018

ScripturesJames 1:17-21John 16:5-15

Songs

Rev. John Nelson

Do you know who your Guiding Light is on your life journey? Are you experiencing the warmth of a fire burning within you that is so overwhelming you cannot restrain yourself from sharing it?

Well, in John 16: 5-15, Jesus knows these are His last moments on earth with His disciples and He wants to prepare them for what is to come after His death and resurrection. He tries to reassure them that they will not be alone, for the Spirit will come and reveal the truth to them. Jesus is preparing them for a “warmth of a fire burning within them- the Holy Spirit”. However, Jesus’ disciples lacked the spiritual understanding to comprehend what Jesus was trying to tell them. The would come to understand when the Truth was revealed to them. Who was it that reveal the Truth?

Questions to be answered by this passage of scripture:

  • Why didn’t the disciples wonder about the meaning of Jesus’ death?
  • Were they not concerned about where He was going?
  • What does Jesus reveal to His disciples in spite of His impending sorrow?
  • How important was it for Jesus to come to earth and do what He did?
  • Did it really matter that Jesus had to die and rise again?
  • How was Christ’s presence limited on earth?
  • Who would make it possible for Christ to be present to the whole world?

Come and hear about who is responsible for God’s love being poured out into our hearts. The WHO will change your way of living and will require of you to live a life well-lived. And if you live such a life, you will be revitalized, empowered, cleansed, and forgiven. Living such a life will have you reflecting the heart, mind and soul of Christ.

Image: Holy Spirit Dome Window, First Baptist Church Regina

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First Baptist Church Regina will welcome the Luther College High School Girls’ choir & director Deborah Nelson to the worship service on Sun. Apr. 29 10:45 a.m.. This choir will sing both before and during the service. for more information contact Pastor John 306-535-0001

We will see Jesus Again

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Learning for Life9:30 am
Worship Service: 11:00 am

Bulletin: April 22, 2018

Newsletter: April 2018

Scriptures: 1 Peter 2:11,12; Psalm 84; John 16:16-22;

Songs:

Rev. Joel Russell-MacLean

Everyday life can come with pain and anguish. These past few weeks have brought that truth home once again in a terrible way.

On the last night of his life, Jesus sat with his friends knowing pain and death were coming for him in the morning. He knew his friends didn’t understand. And in the midst of his own fear, he tried to console them.

Let’s be clear: he tells them to expect anguish and pain too. Jesus doesn’t link all human anguish and pain to a lack of knowledge or spiritual development. In fact, knowing Jesus might even intensify the suffering.

Well, thanks for the good news! Why are you telling us this?!

Jesus pleads with his friends to hold on until the end: “In a little while, you will see me… I am telling you the truth: you will cry and weep, you will be sad, but your sadness will turn into joy… I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart!”

Christians do mourn. Christians mourn as they realize more and more just how far the world is from being what it could be. They long to see Jesus again. The more you know Jesus, the more his absence hurts.

But Christians do not mourn without hope. One day, the mourning will turn to celebration.

I can’t help but hear Bono from U2 singing these very words:

“In a little while,
Surely you’ll be mine.
In a little while, I’ll be there”

“In a little while,
This hurt will hurt no more.
I’ll be home, love.”

Listen to the whole song: In a little while

As often is the case, U2 lyrics’ in this song seems to express a longing and hope beyond a simple youthful romance. As Bono tells us in this video, Joey Ramone of influential punk band The Ramones fame, asked to hear this song as he passed away.

 
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