The Sunday after Easter Sunday picked right up where we left off last week…passionate worship and a powerful message from God’s Word. It was a no-holds-barred message…like we walked into church and got slammed with a piece of rebar across the forehead! Especially for husbands and fathers.
From three pretty non-descript verses in Hebrews 11:20-22, we learned that Isaac, Jacob and Joseph, with all of the ups and downs of their faith, still managed to pass on a blessing to future generations. We even started by just defining what a blessing even is. I know I sometimes use that phrase a little flippantly. It was hard not to be convicted by this one. If you weren’t in the room for it, check it out online.
Toward the end of the message it got real practical when Pastor Todd built off of some reading he was doing in John Trent’s book, The Blessing. I thought it would be helpful for you to have this. We heard that the formal aspects of The Blessing include loving touch (laying your hands on your son or daughter) and making sure you actually say it; verbalizing the blessing in a clear way. The content of the blessing itself has three elements: (1) Personal Commitment (The Blessing of Love) - “I am here for you”; as you share your unconditional commitment to him/her, to be there for them, as God gives you strength, for the duration; …and that’s going to flow from you knowing that God committed his Son to die on your behalf and that he mediates for you as your advocate before the Father; you know you’re loved and cherished by him; (2) Affirmation of Worth (The Blessing of Identity) - “You are valued”; as you let them know that out of all the children in the world, you’re grateful God gave them to you; affirm their worth and identity in Christ; …and you have to know your value in Christ as his sons and daughters if you’re going to do this for your sons and daughters; and (3) Expression of potential for the future (The Blessing of Purpose) - “You have so much ahead of you”; you see potential in them for a great future, and that their strengths and gifts are things God can use to help their own family, the church and others; …and you have to know what your potential is in Christ (not pie in the sky nonsense, but a faith-filled expectation that God is with you to do exceedingly, abundantly above all you could ever ask or think.
Pastor Roger is going to contribute some further resources for any moms and dads who really want to get on this and make some changes in their homes to ensure they’re passing on a blessing as the patriarchs did.
As far as modeling it…well, you couldn’t miss Brian and Boaz Langford serving on the parking team before the 9 a.m. service. There’s a dad showing his son something good…passing on a blessing to future generations, for sure! Wondering if we can get orange vests to fit the junior parking attendant.
And is was modeled too in Pastor Todd’s interview just prior to the message. It is always exciting to have people from our church family sense the call to serve in ministry vocationally, and Pastor Todd introduced us to Chad Freeman on Sunday. He’s heading to Harvest Bible Chapel St. Vincent for the next six months to serve as an intern and continue the process of figuring out God’s will and direction for his future ministry. He shared a couple of solid, Scripture-based prayer requests, and many of you pledged by raising your hands to pray for him. As a reminder, here’s what Chad asked us to pray:
- Luke 12:31-32 But seek His kingdom, and these things will be provided for you. Don't be afraid, little flock, because your Father delights to give you the kingdom; and
- Ephesians 1:17-19 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of his great strength.
Between services there was great Welcome@Harvest meeting with about a dozen newcomers to Harvest who are checking out whether or not God is leading them to be part of our church family.
I thought I’d mention too that on Saturday members of our Summer Glasgow Team as well as men from our two MIA groups (Men in Action) did an extensive trimming of the brush that was choking the woods behind our Bayfield Street office. The woods are part of the YMCA property and the crew did this to make the view from the office better as well as to help the Y out with its annual property clean up.
It was a great day together. And like Pastor Todd said, it just seems to be such a long time between Sundays! Talk to you next Monday from Harvest University in Chicago!
God bless you…and I mean that!