The Weekly Epistle 7/8/20

“Life is not fair.”  As a parent, I have said that more times than my kids wanted to hear.  It was often said in response to their complaint, “Dad, that’s not fair.”  Then my response like Pavlov’s dogs, “Well, life isn’t always fair,” (said in a deep voice for more effect).  
 
Let’s face it, wanting life to be fair isn’t just kid’s stuff.  Our hearts long for fairness and equity.  When an evil goes unpunished or we witness an injustice done, it can be infuriating.  I think we can relate to Asaph.  Who is Asaph?  He is credited with writing Psalm 73.  I think you will hear a sermon from me on this Psalm sometime in the future. 
 
As typical of the Psalms, it puts into words our thoughts and feelings. In Psalm 73, Asaph admits that his feet almost slipped because he watched evildoers prosper while the godly struggle.  In our sense of justice, that is how we want life to work.  Doing good gets rewarded and doing wrong gets punished.  But is that how it always works in the world?  Inequity can trip us up.    
 
What is it that keeps Asaph from totally slipping?  His gets his mind off of people and onto God.  Read Psalm 73 and slow down as you get to verse 17.  It is at verse 17 that there is a shift in perspective.  Asaph says, “Till I entered the sanctuary of God; then I understood their final destiny” (Psalm 73:17).
 
As it seems that injustice is winning, and sense our feet are starting to slip, it is time for a new perspective.  When we are disillusioned and infuriated with what is going on in the world, enter the sanctuary of God.  In other words, meet with God.  It is God who keeps us from slipping.  It is locking eyes with the Sovereign Lord that places our feet on solid ground.  It is meeting with God that shows us how puny our thoughts are in comparison to the bigness of God.  It is meeting with God that reminds us that we don’t have the whole picture.  
 
Can we trust that God will ultimately work all things out as He sees fit?  Can we trust that the God who is just will carry out His justice in His time?        
 
It is that new and healthy perspective that we can then say as Asaph puts it, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever (Psalm 73:26).  Is He our portion?  Is He enough?  
 
Church, keep your eyes on the Sovereign Lord, not on people, for that is a slippery slope.  Our God can be trusted.  His track record proves His faithfulness.  His heart is always good.  
 
Hope to see you, Sunday.  But if not, I understand.  But do join us at 10:45 on livestream to stay connected as one family.  I thank God for you as I consider myself blessed to be your pastor.
 
With Joy, Pastor Brian 

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Philippians 2:1-4

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Come Unity

For more information on Come Unity, visit their website https://www.comeunitynow.org. If you would like to send donations to support this critical need, checks may be mailed to:
COME UNITY
1722 N Western Ave Unit 401
Chicago, IL  60647

On Goal Soccer Camp

August 4th – August 8th Register today at www.ongoal.org
K-1st 9am-Noon $145 / 2nd-9th 9am-3pm $165
Family discounts and Laconia resident discounts are also available. Visit www.laconiachurch.com/ongoal to volunteer or donate to the scholarship fund. We already have donation requests coming in.

Giving

You can continue to give either online on our website www.laconiachurch.com and clicking on the green Give button or by mailing your checks to the office. 50 Washington St Laconia, NH 03246

Prayer and Praise

If you have any prayer requests or needs, please email Corianne at: corianne@ebclaconia.com 

The Weekly Epistle 6/24/20

How long before dinner?  How long before we can stop our long drive?  How long before life gets back to “normal”?  How long…how long?
 
Have you read through the book of Habakkuk lately?  It reads like today’s headlines.  Habakkuk was living during Judah’s final days and he sees society once again engaging in all sorts of social injustice, violence, and moral depravity.  It is a time when the world is a mess. Things appear to be hopelessly out of control.  And even more disturbing is that it doesn’t seem like God is doing anything about it. 
 
The prophet Habakkuk looks around at the situation and has something to say about the state of things. He feels free to share his complaints and his frustrations to God.  Habakkuk is considered one of the minor prophets.  Not minor in the sense of importance, but because of its brevity, for what this minor prophet had to say is of profound significance.  What is unique about Habakkuk’s prophecy is that rather than speaking for God to the people, Habakkuk is speaking to God about the people.  
 
Habakkuk has some complaints.  Habakkuk complains to God, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?  Or cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ But you do not save?  Why do you make me look at injustice?  Why do you tolerate wrong?  Destruction and violence are before me; there is strife, and conflict abounds. Therefore, the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails.  The wicked hem in the righteous, so that justice is perverted” (1:2-3).
 
The language of “How long” and “call for help” is typical of a lament.  Habakkuk uses six different words to describe the condition of the crisis that is in need of help and deliverance.Violence, injustice, wrong (or trouble), destruction, strife, and conflict.   And no one was doing anything about it.  Not even God.  
 
So, Habakkuk cries out, “how long must I call for help?”  Know the feeling?  Is that the cry of your heart?   It is that reaction after seeing some violent story on the news.  You just want to scream.  When the fabric of society is coming apart, when you hear about the person waiting for an elevator around others who weren’t practicing social distancing…know what she did?  She sprayed them with mace.  I hear that and I just want to scream, “what’s wrong with you people?”  Habakkuk is watching all this excessive violence around him and he screams- “Violence!”  He cries out to God asking how long can this kind of violence go on without His intervention?
 
Habakkuk is so exasperated He accuses God of not listening.  The idea here is it is lacking response from God.  Listening is not just hearing it but doing something about it- some kind of active response.  Like when God heard Hannah’s prayer for a son, then it says, “she conceived.”  
 
Habakkuk is accusing God of not doing something about the situation.  This is an honest prayer.  We could summarize Habakkuk’s complaint as “God, do something!”  He waits for God’s intervention.  
 
Church, we need to take our complaints to the Lord.  This is a time that calls us to pray for the nation, the church, the people in authority, our church leaders, and for God to do something remarkable in His people and in the advancement of the gospel.
 
You will notice specific times of corporate prayer throughout the summer.  I urge you to make an effort to join with the EBC family for 30 minutes to pray as these dates become available.  We had a time of prayer last night and our next time will be on Tuesday night, July 7 from 7:00-7:30.
 
“May God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon and be gracious to you.  May the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.”  
 
Pastor Brian

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Philippians 1:19-26

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Church Services

We are back up to worshipping together in person Sunday mornings at 9am and 10:45am. We will continue to have a live stream of our worship service at 10:45am. Please go to our YouTube channel HERE and you will find the live stream.

Welcome Team Help

As we return back to church and worship together and due to all the safety measures, we will need extra help on the Welcome Team through the end of the summer. 
If you are willing to help please contact Corianne at the office: corianne@ebclaconia.com

On Goal Soccer Camp

August 4th – August 8th Register today at www.ongoal.org
K-1st 9am-Noon $145 / 2nd-9th 9am-3pm $165
Family discounts and Laconia resident discounts are also available. Visit www.laconiachurch.com/ongoal to volunteer or donate to the scholarship fund. We already have donation requests coming in.

Giving

You can continue to give either online on our website www.laconiachurch.com and clicking on the green Give button or by mailing your checks to the office. 50 Washington St Laconia, NH 03246

Prayer and Praise

If you have any prayer requests or needs, please email Corianne at: corianne@ebclaconia.com