Story Time with Pastor Dave: Mary Anoints Jesus

Join in with Pastor Dave as he tells the story of Mary anointing Jesus with expensive perfume. Found in Mark 14 or John 12, this story helps us understand sacrifice, generosity, and how we are called to give our very best to Jesus.

HMC Youth: Jonah 1:7-16

Hey HMC Youth!  

The passage for this week is Jonah 1:7-16, take some time to read it and connect with God. 

Imagine being on the ship with Jonah as the situation turns from frightening to hopeless. The professional sailors have done everything in their power to save the ship from being destroyed and nothing works. The storm grows more and more violent, to the point that the sailors are made aware of a universal force much stronger than anything they know. As soon as the sailors are made aware of this incredible force they submit to it, ready to make a deal or do whatever it takes to save their own lives. But Jonah knows exactly who this great force is. Jonah ran from God, and now realizes that turning away from the God of life is the same as turning towards death. It is now obvious as Jonah faces death that comfort in this worldly life is much less important that security in eternal life. The decision isn’t too hard anymore; continue running from God and face death and eternal separation form God, or surrender, facing possible death, but falling into the arms of a loving and all powerful God.

As soon as the unbelieving sailors recognized this powerful storm was the work of God, they were ready to surrender. Compare that with how long it takes Jonah to reach the point of surrender even though he knew very well the power of God. It seems like Jonah had grown numb and took for granted the great power of God. Can we relate to growing numb to the greatness and power of God in our lives? 

As you read and reflect, here’s some questions for you to think about.  We will explore them more at youth group on Friday night.

1.    After reading the text, what thoughts or details jump out at you right away?
2.    Spend a bit of time praying about and reflecting on the text.  What is God bringing to your attention?
3.    How does this passage apply to your life?

See you Friday!

Sunday Morning Live Stream: God Reigns and the Son Shines

God Reigns and the Son Shines
Pastor Lyndsay | March 21, 2021

Introduction

Many people have a fascination with the weather…. and whether we have known a person for a long time or are meeting someone for the first time, talking about the weather has its place in a conversation. The conversation has often drifted to the weather as my friend and I plan an activity. What I have found interesting is that an Android phone and iPhone can give slightly different forecast for the same location – it reminds me that in life we can be looking in the same direction or reading the same material and our answer can differ…. it is all a matter of perspective. We want to know the future – even if it just a day or two ahead.

Somehow having the ability to plan – to be prepared for the day – is often great benefit – our day has direction. Well what if the future – our lives – have a solid direction each day!

The forecast was perfect ….
God reigns and the Son shines.

I enjoy this forecast as it reminds me that as we desire to live like Jesus how different the world would be – love, forgiveness and reconciliation would abound.

Each year I enjoy planning reflections around the events leading up to Easter, inviting us to be drawn closure into the loving presence of God. This morning I am going to offer those reflections to you. Love – forgiveness – reconciliation – were key topics Jesus taught disciples and people who gathered to hear him teach. I looked at Jesus’ response to the events leading up to his trial and death, and see love, forgiveness and reconciliation been lived out.

Station #1 – Preparing
Jesus teaching and response to Friendship & Love

For God so loved the world he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have external life (John 3:16)

As Jesus as he began his public ministry he chose 12 men (his disciples) to journey with him. They lived in community, listened to Jesus teaching, were present at many miracles, and witnessed first hand how Jesus lived/responded to life.

Jesus constantly poured his love into his relationships with others.

Jesus was full aware that this Passover Festival would be different for him and his disciples, for Jesus’ “hour had come”. Even after all the teaching and time spent together – Jesus know the disciples would fall apart, their lives would be shattered.

In those final critical hours Jesus prepares his disciples – he gave them his departing gift, saying to them know this for this is important, key:

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. This is my command: Love each other.” Taken from John 15:9-15

Jesus is ensuring the disciples:
Knew his love for each of them and for them to remain in that love.
2) That they are friends of Jesus. Jesus is emphasizing the relational component.
3) Jesus combine this love & friendship – giving a new commandment; to love one another as He loved them.

Jesus loves and nurtured a deep friendship with his disciples:
even though they often “didn’t grasp his teaching,”
even though they lack courage to be to be a supportive friend to him
even though one friend betrayed him….
Jesus knew:
People disappoint.
People will misunderstand sometimes fail to hear what it is that we are saying.
People will accuse & judge you.
People will betray you.

However when time is short and the core message becomes important – he speaks of love.
Jesus could find love, compassion for people;
for Jesus knew – it was God, His Father he lived for
for Jesus was continually praying…. prayer nourishes of soul… as we talk with God, draw strength from God, as we lead by the Spirit of God.

QUESTION:
This Easter season:
How healthy is your friendship with the Lord?
Jesus command: “we love one another” – we get along
Are there friendships, relationships that need attention?

Our lives need to be focused on God’s desire for us … not people.
Jesus did not give up on you or me, he did not walk way from tough times – he went to the cross for us… so we may be forgiven…so we may be reconciled to God and to one another! Please don’t give up – find strength in prayer… even if all we can utter is one or two words.

Station #2 – The Trial
Jesus teaching and response to being …Accusation

Meanwhile, the leading priests and the teachers of the religious law stood shouting accusations. Luke 23:10

In the heat of moment comments are misunderstood… spoken out of context – misrepresenting what was said. During these moments as accusation intensify…. It is tough to stay calm for for our human nature/instinct is to defend ourself. However Jesus remains claim, he don’t defend himself against the accusation.
Mark 14:55-59  The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree. Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him:  “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.’” Yet even then their testimony did not agree.
Then the entire council took Jesus over to Pilot, the Roman governor. They began to state their case: “This man has been leading people astray by telling them not to pay taxes to the Roman government and by claiming to be the Messiah, a king.” Pilot turned to the leading priests and the town crowd and said, “I find nothing wrong with this man!” Then they became desperate. “But he is causing riots everywhere he goes, all over Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem!” Luke 23:1-5

I wonder:

  • how did Jesus remain so calm – not engaging in a heated debate,
    `why did he not defend self.. pointing out their errors – Jesus was so level headed?
    Jesus did not look for people approval.
    Jesus remained true to God’s plan… Jesus had prayed for strength to endure… The power of prayer!
    Recall the story (Luke 8:1-11) As he (Jesus) was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman they had caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus “this woman was caught in the very act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What did you say?”

They keep demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “all right, stone her. Let those who have never send throw the first stone!”

Every clenched rock intended to be aimed at her held the weight of their own sins. How quickly they must have dropped the heaviness in their hands, knowing Jesus accurately named the truth of the callous hearts. When Jesus turn to the woman being accused, he met a fragile human being caught in the net of her weakness and confusion. Instead of harsh words of condemnation at her, Jesus spoke kindly and offered a way out.

Jesus provides the same opportunities for us when we are caught in the mess of our failures. We are not condemned by Jesus; instead he extends an invitation to amend our ways … graciously giving us a new beginning.

We need to be more like Jesus, offering a merciful attitude towards those we would prefer to condemn, criticize.

We need to acknowledge the injustice and sinfulness, yet we must also look at the stones in our heart and words we have spoken, a willingness to examine our own involvement.

QUESTION:
This Easter season:
Where do you find yourself in this section of the story?
What part do you play?
Are you the one being accused?
Are you the one accusing?

Station #3 At The Cross
Jesus teaching and response to…. forgiven

As we read through the Gospels – we encounter narratives where Jesus forgives someone or teaches on the topic. He not only does Jesus speaks about this; he acts on it, forgives those who caused him pain.
As Jesus hang on the cross, he prays “Father forgive these people, because they don’t know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Forgiveness – because Jesus was focused on God, not people.

Jesus knew what was ahead and he knew Peter would abandon him. Jesus knew the heaviness, the pain Peter would carry as a result.
What was Jesus response to knowing Peter would deny him? Jesus spends time praying… Jesus prays for Peter…. specifically Peter’s faith – for Peter to believe he is forgive… listen.
“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have all of you, to sift you like wheat. But I have pleaded for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthened and build up your brothers. (Luke 22:31-32)

When we stumble, when we fall, when we fail….Jesus knew our human response is to wallow – sit about – tumble around – in self pity. Jesus prays that Peterss faith should not fail…. come to me (Jesus), tell me you are sorry – I (Jesus) will forgive you… and entrust to you to strengthen and build up your brothers.

When we are hurt by others, our first response might be a natural, human one of anger, hurt, or desire for revenge. Being stabbed in the heart by another’s harsh words and actions leaves a sharp, emotional wound. Our wounded spirits do not heal quickly. Old, painful memories get triggered, attaching themselves to the pain which now intensifies.

As we begin to address the wound and begin to cleanse it…. the process stings….. Don’t let scar tissue grow over the wound….

QUESTION:
This Easter season: What are your wounds? There is cleansing, healing for our wounds… and it begins with
“Will I forgive and the love as Jesus has loved?”

Station #4 The Resurrection
Jesus teaching and response to…. Reconciliation

Reconcile: “to restore friendly relationship.” Restoring friendship does not come easily – for we want the one who hurt us – to come to us – to admit they hurt us and to expressed their regret. However, reconciliations do not work that way.

When it comes to rifts in human relationships, life was not all that different in the time of Jesus than it is in ours. However Jesus response is different to our natural/instinctive response:
Jesus doesn’t harden his heart,
Jesus doesn’t make others apologize first,
Nor does Jesus hold grudges.

I look to the story after the resurrection – when Jesus meets his disciples on the beach…. Peter is present this time. Jesus did not wait for Peter to say he was sorry. Peter never left Jesus heart, and Jesus wanted him to know that. Jesus restored their relationship and welcome Peter’s return with the questions: “Do you love me?” Peter’s – “You know that I love you” (John 21:15). Their relationship, their love was restored – it had grown deeper and richer. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, entrusting his sheep, his lambs into Peter’s care.

Resurrection – The stone to the tomb was rolled away and Jesus arose from the dead….victorious over sin & death…. Jesus offers Life.
Jesus invites us into a loving relationship where forgiveness and reconciliation abound.

QUESTION:
This Easter season:
Do you need the stone that is on your heart to be rolled away so the love Jesus offers can flow through you?
Pray ask God if you need to take first steps to reconcile with another?

Easter is a glorious season – a season that reminds us to always focus on God… know and receive friendship, love, forgiveness and restoration.

At the foot of the cross we, the church, are equal so let us continue to pray to God as individuals and as a church family for his leading, his guiding.

HMC Youth – Jonah 1:4-6

Hello HMC Youth!  

We hope you are having a fantastic start to your week! It was so great to see you last Friday, and we are looking forward to youth group again this Friday.

The passage for this week is Jonah 1:4-6, take some time to read it and connect with God.  

This week we see just how committed Jonah is to running from God, and also how committed God is to pursuing His people At first it seems crazy… how could Jonah possibly sleep through a storm so severe that the ship was about to break into pieces? Imagine the creaking, cracking and groaning of that big old wooden ship, and the violent crashing of cargo inside the ship as the waves thrashed the ship around. But pause the story and consider the storm going on inside of Jonah. Anger, bitterness, confusion and hurt swirled in Jonah’s mind. The God that Jonah loved and trusted had asked him to do something that was totally unreasonable to him and it wasn’t fair! Now he was running from the friend he trusted and nothing made sense anymore. Why did any of it really matter? Like Jonah, do we ever get so caught up in the storm going on inside of us that we become oblivious to the storm happening around us, and forget our ability and responsibility to do something about it? Storms are certainly happening in our society, do we need to wait for the unbelieving captain of the ship to come shake us awake to take action?     

As you read and reflect, here’s some questions for you to think about. We will explore them more at youth group on Friday night

1.    After reading the text, what thoughts or details jump out at you right away?
2.    Spend a bit of time praying about and reflecting on the text.  What is God bringing to your attention?
3.    How does this passage apply to your life?

See you Friday!

Memory Verses with Miss Faye – Ephesians 6:10-11

Have you been practising? Miss Faye wants to see you sayng your memory verse. Post a video and use #HMCFamilyChallenge for a special reward!

“Finally, put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the schemes of the devil.” Ephesians 6:10-11

Sunday Morning Live Stream: God Has Come to Help His People

God Has Come To Help His People
Luke 7:11-17, Psalm 121
March 14th, 2021

This past week, God spoke to me and encouraged me in a powerful way through a passage, and I sensed that He wanted me to share that same passage with you this morning because there may be someone this morning who also needs to be encouraged by it.

If you have a Bible, please turn to Luke 7:11-17. As you are flipping there, I want to ask you to think of a time where you needed help, badly. And at just the right time, someone showed up (maybe someone you didn’t expect) to help. Maybe it was someone who helped you study or finish a project at school. Maybe it was someone who helped you finish a job. Maybe it was someone who came along and was a listening ear when you needed it the most. Maybe it was someone who brought over a meal to your house on a stressful day. Maybe it was someone coming over to watch the kids to give you a break. Maybe it was someone who was just being a good friend.

Everyone remember something? How did you feel when you were all by yourself – when you knew you needed help, but none was there? And do you remember how you felt when you got the help you so desperately needed? I want to share with you a time where Jesus showed up, very unexpected, and helped in a way that likely no one had planned for.

Luke 7:11-12
Jesus is walking to a town called Nain, SE of Nazareth, his hometown. He is being followed by his twelve disciples, and a large crowd. Crowds have been following Him for a bit now as word spread about who He was. People came to hear Him teach, to see Him perform miracles, maybe in some cases hoping that some of His power might rub off on them, or that He could do a miracle for them. Whatever the reason, a large crowd is walking with Him on this day.

As they likely are getting close to the town, they are already hearing a commotion, a racket, a lot of noise… but hold on to that for later.

As Jesus gets to the town gate, he meets a procession of people carrying out a man on an open coffin, being taken outside the town to be buried as in those days, dead bodies were considered unclean, and they would have to burry them outside of the city walls to remain ceremonially clean according to the religious law.

This particular man who had died was the only son of a widow woman. This is important to know as this mom was about to have her life change drastically. When her husband died, she became considered one of the weakest members of society. The reason is that her husband would have been her provider and protector in that culture. In those days, women did not enjoy the same freedoms and rights that we now are blessed and enjoy having. She would not of had a job and would have not had the protection that her husband would have brought.

Her son would have taken over caring for her, but with him dying, she now had no family to care for her. She was on her own with no one to protect her or provide for her. She was all alone, was hurting from the loss of her son, and needed help. Can you picture her pain, her heart aching, her loss?

Remember I mentioned about Jesus hearing a commotion as He got close to town? There was a large crowd that was with the widow, and they would have all been mourning, but not like we think of funeral processions now with all the quiet respect. There would have been noise, and lots of it. There would have been professional mourners hired who would have been wailing loudly and publicly, leading the crowd in doing the same. There would have been flutes blowing randomly, and cymbals crashing. It would have been a racket!

Luke 7:13
Jesus approaches the woman, and what do we see? He was moved to the core of His being. When we see that His heart went out to her, the exact translation of “heart” or “compassion” is that He was moved to the very depths of the seat of the emotions – in our culture, the heart. Yet to understand His reaction, we need to understand where the seat of the emotions was in those times. The bowels were considered where the seat of the emotions was.

Rather than just His heart breaking, He was moved with a gut wrenching sorrow and compassion for this woman, one that would have affected Him to the pits of His stomach. And as He saw her, it was almost like an inward gasp because of feeling so strong a compassion for her. And out of that, He says to her with absolute love and care (plus maybe a bit of knowing what He was about to do), He says “don’t cry”.

Luke 7:14-15
Jesus goes to where the attendants are carrying this man out on this open coffin, and He touches it silently. And instantly everything freezes. (Kind of like when I used to live in Davidson and went for coffee at the local coffee shop and everything stopped when I entered the door as the locals watched this ‘outsider’ come into their coffee shop).

The reason why everything froze? Jesus just knowingly made Himself “unclean” according to the law. He had just touched where a dead body was. This would have almost been scandalous. And in shock, they stop.

And then Jesus does something even more weird. He talks to the dead man and says as if this dead guy can hear Him, “hey young man, I say to you (note that…. it is important as Jesus is placing His authority and power on the words He is about to say), get up! And then the unbelievable happens. This guy, even though dead, because of the authority and power of Jesus’ words (due to Jesus being God) heard, came back to life again, and sat up and began to talk. Anyone ever thought how odd this would have seemed? Maybe unbelievable? Yet, this shows the power of the God we serve, that on His very command, everything comes under authority and power, and He even has power over death and life itself.

At that, this man goes back to His mother. And his passing only a short time before is a thing of the past.

Luke 7:16-17
The people were filled with a holy fear, reverence, an awe. It was like they said “wow… what just happened here?? That was so incredible….God is so powerful.” And then they worshipped God.

They say that a great prophet has come. Why? Because several hundred years prior, in the same region, the prophet Elijah did a very similar miracle where he brought back to life the only son of a widow (1 Kg 17:17-23), Elisha also, in the same region (after Elijah) brought a son back to life. These people would have known those miracles. They would have heard the accounts in the Torah. And here is Jesus, doing the same thing.

Then notice what they said: God has come to help His people. I don’t think anything needs to be added to that. God, in the person of Jesus Christ, came that day and helped His people. And because God showed up, because Jesus did what only He could do as the Son of God, news spread, and people heard about the amazing power of Jesus Christ.

So what??

God has come to help His people. And He has come today to help you. He sees whatever you are facing, and He knows your need. And He wants to meet you in it today and bring you to a place of wholeness and healing.

-> Who are you today? The mother, or the son?

Maybe you are the mother. You are carrying the pain of life. You are carrying the pain of loss. Something has happened and it has wounded you, hurt you, left you feeling alone. Something has happened that has you worried about your future. Something has happened and you feel like you can’t carry on. You need hope.

Maybe you are the son. Something has happened, and truly, you feel like the very life you used to find purpose in has been robbed from you. Something has happened and you feel empty and of no value. You feel day to day like you are just existing, but with no direction, no focus, no anything – you are just going through the motions. And you need to be brought back to life.

This week, God used this passage to personally speak to me about who I was and where I was at. I can tell you who I was even up to earlier this week. I was both… I needed hope, and I needed life.

-> But let me tell you an amazing truth: God has come to help His people! I say this from personal experience. And today, wherever you are at, He wants to help you too with whatever it is you are facing. He feels compassion for you, He wants to comfort you, He wants to restore hope to you, and He wants to breathe new life into your weary and empty feeling spirit.

-> God has come to help His people. And when we walk in the healing and wholeness He brings, the hope and the life, through those things this church becomes a vibrant life giving place, this community becomes attractive, and the news about what Jesus does and who He is spreads around our community and the world.

May the words of Psalm 121 be an encouragement to you:

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth.

3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord watches over you—
the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

7 The Lord will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the Lord will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

Palm Sunday Craft

Miss Shirley will be presenting a Palm Sunday craft on Sunday, March 28. All children who are attending the service in person will be given a craft kit. If your family is not yet attending in person, but your child still wants to participate, please fill out the sign-up form below and come pick up your craft supply kit on Thursday, March 25 (between 1-4 p.m.) or Friday, March 26 (between 9-noon).

Want to gather your own supplies? All you need is:

  • green construction paper
  • a large Popsicle stick
  • dark pencil crayon
  • pencil
  • scissors
  • glue

Have everything ready to go on Sunday morning (March 28) and Miss Shirley will show you how to make your own palm branch!

HMC Youth – Jonah 1:1-3

Hello HMC Youth!  

We hope you are enjoying the sunshine and warm weather this week!  Friday night will be the official start of our 8 week study on the book of Jonah.  

The passage for this week is Jonah 1:1-3, take some time to read it and connect with God. 

 Imagine what Jonah, a prophet of God might have felt. Maybe he had ideas of how God would use him to teach, lead and rebuke his chosen people, the Israelites, who were more than a little stubborn and rebellious.  But when God spoke, rather than a message of rebuke to His chosen people, God told Jonah to go deliver this message to the evil Assyrians. Why was God trying to spare the evil Assyrians of Nineveh, the enemy of the Israelites? Was God giving up on His chosen people?

As you read and reflect, here’s some questions for you to think about.  We will explore them more at youth group on Friday night

1.    After reading the text, what thoughts or details jump out at you right away?
2.    Spend a bit of time praying about and reflecting on the text.  What is God bringing to your attention?
3.    How does this passage apply to your life?

See you Friday!