Christians as Citizens

Good morning,

I cannot recall a time in my life when there was as much anger and vitriol in our society as there is today.  Now, I was born in 1974, so perhaps some of you may think otherwise about that, but I think we can all agree that “we the people” are angry.  And yet no one seems to be able to agree as to what to do about it.

So, we see violent protests and demonstrations.  We see property being damaged indiscriminately.  We see our supposed leaders shouting at one another and over one another and resorting to name calling, labelling, demonizing their opponents, and casting blame everywhere else.  I’m certainly not blaming any one group or individual person, because it is EVERYWHERE, including those who would proclaim Jesus Christ as their Savior.

I loathe politics. Aside from encouraging people to vote (but never how they should vote), I very rarely talk political things on a Sunday morning, because I believe the focus of our worship service should always be on praising God and celebrating our victory in Jesus.  Yet I also feel compelled as your pastor to provide some guidance on how I believe God wants Christians to behave publicly as citizens.  So, this Sunday during the Sunday School hour we will be looking at Paul’s instructions to Titus about this very topic (found in Titus 3).  Titus was trying to minister on the island of Crete, in a culture that has some striking similarities to ours.  I believe this short passage has much to teach us!

If the Sunday School hour isn’t a typical part of your Sunday morning at Ebenezer, I would invite you to make an exception on Sunday and join us.

Here’s what’s happening:

1.       We will be celebrating Holy Communion together this Sunday.  We will also be dedicating a new pulpit in honor and memory of Barry Zimmerman.

2.      Weekly announcement emails will once again be a bit more sporadic over the next few of weeks, as my family enjoys our summer vacation and Rawlinsville Camp Meeting.

3.      Speaking of vacationing, I will be out of the office from 7/5- 7/15 as we pack up the minivan and head out for a week in Maine.  If there is a pastoral emergency while I am away, please contact a member of our PRC (Ed Strausser, Charlie Szasz, & Cathy Ressler).  Pastor Joel Kime from Faith E.C. Church is available in such a situation.

4.      Upcoming Guest Speakers:  Neil Deibler on 7/8 and Marysue Ruth from Susquehanna Valley Pregnancy Services on 7/15.

5.      Camp Meeting Season is quickly approaching.  Rosedale Camp Grove begins on Sunday, July 29 at 6:30pm with their opening service and continues each day through Friday, August 3rd.  Rawlinsville Camp Meeting begins Monday, July 30th at 7:30 pm and continues each day through Sunday, August 12th.

This Sunday we conclude our sermon series on Esther.  I trust you’ve enjoyed our journey through one of the wildest stories in the Bible!  Appropriately enough, our focus on Sunday will be celebrating.  What should we be celebrating?  Why should we be celebrating? How should we be celebrating?  How often should we be celebrating?  We will be answering those questions and more!  It’s going to be a wonderful morning, I hope to see you!

Scott