The Great Pretender
Ask any builder how critical it is when building a home or a multilevel building to make sure that your foundation meets code – not only so it can carry the weight of what gets built on top of it. The foundation also needs to be “straight” so that the structure above it does not lean “off-center”. In other words, as the foundation goes so goes the rest of the building. Jacob’s “house”, his life gets off to a lousy start and his foundational experiences result in an unfortunate life that leans towards compromise, deceit and causes unnecessary pain for others.
“O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive!” (Walter Scott)
During worship this Sunday, June 26, we will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper which is also known as Communion. When we partake of the Lord’s Supper, one of the sacraments of the Christian church, we remember Jesus Christ’s death on the cross. The bread represents Christ’s body, the juice Christ’s blood that was shed for the forgiveness of our sins (see Matthew 26:26-29 or Luke 22:19-20). Believers who profess faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior are welcome to receive the nourishment and refreshment of the bread and cup of the Lord. These are sure signs in remembrance of Christ’s body and blood poured out for us in his once-for-all sacrifice on the cross.
The Great Pretender: Broken and Restored
Jacob was the son of Isaac whose name means, “son of laughter”. Although some of Jacob’s behavior and experiences might be regarded as laughable there is much about his life that is deceitful, manipulative and cruel. Like many of us he has two faces. One is his real face – the other is his pretend face. It’s his pretend face, his pretend self that compels him to make choices that are mostly designed to get him something. So he became a hustler, a player, and ultimately a fugitive. The irony of Jacob’s mostly tragic life is that the very thing he desired most he mostly had already – minus his awareness of it. It’s a readily identifiable story for many of us as though we might be reading the story of someone we know who is a lot like Jacob. Sometimes that person turns out to be us. How does God deal with a character like this and why would he be considered a kind of “patron saint” of the Hebrew and Christian faith?
Please join us for MCC new members classes starting in June. The class will meet three times, June 5, 12, and 19 before the morning service at 9:30 in a lower classroom. This class is open to anyone interested in becoming a member at MCC.
A Runners World: Jonah
We live in a runners world. Just ask the makers of running shoes and clothing. For various reasons more and more people are entering the running phenomenon that has now become common place in our culture. It’s a good and healthy thing.
There is a different kind of running that does not require all the paraphenalia sold by the marketers of running merchandise. This running is more of a metaphor and can be done by anyone at any time in any place. The young can do it. So can the elderly. Whether you’re physically fit or a couch potato, you can get in on the action.
The Old Testament tells lots of running stories. Adam & Eve were runners. So was Jacob. As was David. But Jonah’s running was on an Olympic scale – and even entertaining.
What makes Jonah’s running so exceptional is how ordinary it is. It’s a running we can all relate to. We find ourselves starting out as spectators watching Jonah run and somewhere along the way we discover we’re right there with him, running the course together. This poster-child for ordinary runners has some things to teach us – about ourselves and more importantly, God.
We are having men’s Burger night at mcc on Tuesday May 24. Door at 6:30 food at 7:00 followed by root beer floats! Guest speaker at 7:30.
Any questions see Keith Batchelor.
The 3rd Annual Monroe North Neighborhood Cleanup is Saturday, May 21st 9am-12 pm. Meet at Monroe Community Church. Please bring your own gloves and gardening tools. Lunch will follow the cleanup and flower planting.
Are you looking for a place where women can share community and dig into the Word? Morning at Monroe is starting a new topic. They will be looking at the book of James. Please come and see what it’s all about. Childcare provided! No previous Bible knowledge required. Thursdays 9:30-11:00
Questions…email Dave at firstname.lastname@example.org
MCC needs more nursery volunteers. Volunteering in nursery is an incredible service to the children in our congregation as well as their parents. If your gifts and passions lead you toward serving MCC in nursery, please contact Dave at email@example.com to get into the nursery rotation. Know someone who would be a perfect fit for volunteering in the nursery? Tell them next time you see them. Encourage them to email Dave for more information. We still have not heard from any new volunteers, so please get the word out!
Stepping Stones Stories:
“How do we get from here to there?”
A familiar question isn’t it? Thank God for GPS.
Depending on what “here” and “there” are, we might imagine any number of answers.
What if the “here” is defined as where you are now on your spiritual journey. And what if the “there” was simply a way of describing a place of greater spiritual maturity, a place of deeper spiritual understanding and a place of more significant engagement with God’s Kingdom?
I would suggest that the way to get from “here” to “there” is to discover some of the “stepping stones stories” that can lead us to a deeper and more expansive place in our spiritual journeys.
Over the course of the Lenten season we will consider stories in the Bible that involve stones.
These stones represent different things but taken together serve as a series of stepping stones to get us further down the road.
This series will involve more than listening. It will employ more of our God-given senses and will engage our creativity.
Journey with us.
This Sunday, March 20, Pastor Andy DeJong will be preaching from Luke 19:29-40.
Our Wednesday Morning Men’s Breakfast group continues on March 9th at Wolfgangs. We meet every other Wednesday at 6:45 AM. Feel free to join us in a discussion of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity. We’d love to have you join. We invite you to come for any meeting, and encourage new people to join as well.
Our mission at Monroe Community Church—connecting our downtown community to our life-changing God—is grounded first in God’s goodness to us and His ability to transform us through His Son, Jesus Christ. As transformed disciples of Jesus, we are called to give joyfully. Our gifts of our time, our skills, and our money are part of that transforming power of Jesus Christ. We encourage you to consider how you can give joyfully.
visit https://monroecommunitychurch.churchcenteronline.com/giving to access our secure online giving form
We have Year-end giving statements available for you. Please find yours on the table in the back of the warehouse. They will be available for pickup for the next two weeks. Any remaining statements will be mailed to you.
Do you love connecting with kids? Do you love sharing the story of God’s love in creative ways? Do you stink at crafts? If you answered “yes” to all of these questions (or at least to the first two), you just might be the perfect fit for our Children’s Worship team! Please prayerfully consider this calling and talk with Mary Fridsma (who stinks at crafts) for more information. We use curriculum materials for the Jesus Storybook Bible, and have compiled a collection of craft & activity ideas to support you. More information will be shared at our congregational meeting on January 17. Hope to see you then!
Dear Monroe Community Church,
This coming Sunday we continue our worship series at MCC entitled Stories of the Stranger. During this worship series, we are going to be taking a first hand look at the current refugee crisis that millions of people are facing around the world and what it means for us as followers of Christ here in West Michigan. Our hope and prayers for this series are many. We hope that over the next few weeks God will deepen our empathy and awareness of the refugees who live around the world as well as those who are now living here in West Michigan, that God will change any unhealthy thoughts, perceptions, and attitudes that may be within us, and that God will show us how we are to respond to this situation as His people. We have a number creative things planned for the next few worship gatherings. So please join us as we explore together, Stories of the Stranger.
Pastor Henry and Amy