This Week’s Sermon: “The Story of the Gospel”

The movie director Shekhar Kapur said in a TED talk that “[w]e are the stories we tell ourselves….A story is the relationship that you develop between who you are, or who you potentially are, and the infinite world.” And so stories bridge the existential gap. In other words, humans have an innate sense that we are not just evolved bags of fizzing chemicals, but body and soul, created for purpose and holiness and joy. And so we tell stories to connect to these perceived realities. We tell stories to make sense of what is going on around us and how we feel. What is the story you tell yourself?

The Christian gospel–that Jesus lived, died and was raised to new life–is the culminating announcement of the great, overarching story. It is the story that encapsulates all the right ones (and excludes all the wrong ones). And because the gospel is the meta-story, it’s reach goes further than we often realize. It is meant to be an all-of-life story. Not just the ABC’s of the Christian life, but the A to Z of the Christian life. And so we’re going to tell the story again this Sunday, for our ongoing salvation, and for the salvation of those who do not yet believe. Pray for fruit as we explore Romans 1:16-25.

Discipleship Teaching of the Week: What is (not) Evangelism? 

Our theme this year is Listen, Show, Speak: A Movement of Evangelism at GracePoint. And so we’re getting ourselves ready for the rest of our lives. We are called to make disciples of all nations. But one of the things we are stressing this year is that not all Kingdom work is evangelism. While all kingdom work is vital for the success of evangelism, evangelism, technically speaking, is the literal proclamation of the good news. We need to learn the distinction.

Cortney Doctor writes helpfully: “[I]f we think everything is evangelism, we may not be doing any evangelism. I find it helpful to differentiate between three types of interactions: good deeds, outreach, and evangelism.” So she says that we must (1) Do Good, (2) Reach Out, (3) Proclaim Jesus. Which of these things are you good at? Which of these do you need God to help you?

Read her whole article

Pregnancy Care Center Baby Bottle Campaign

We are elated that we have begun a partnership with the the Pregnancy Care Center of Haverhill, Lawrence and Lowell. It is a Christ-centered ministry offering life-affirming services designed to empower women and men in making informed choices about unexpected pregnancy, sexual integrity and recovery from post abortion trauma. They believe in sharing the love of Jesus Christ through education, peer-counseling and support to women and men facing an unexpected pregnancy. And so their work is vital.

They launched the “Baby Bottle Campaign” at our church – listen here –  and you may have picked up a bottle to fill with money in the coming weeks. We’ll have a few more on Sunday if you want to grab one. Let’s be generous and bless them!

Lots of Links 

– Pastor Ryan