This week is the perfect time to join in our worship online or in-person. We simplified our online service and made it even easier to participate, and viewing does not require a Facebook account! Join the video stream on Facebook Live (www.facebook.com/coldspringchurch) or, if you don’t have internet access, use our New call in number: +1 (929) 205-6099. Enter Meeting ID: 875 2479 7260.
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In the future, when we’re asked to recall the worst year ever, there is no doubt that 2020 will be the #1 choice! In January, our annual meeting was filled with expressions of gratitude for God’s blessings as we launched our “Brave New Year!” mission theme. Little did we know that as we were enjoying food and conversation in Price Hall, 7,570 miles away, the coronavirus was spreading. In our hyper-connected world, everything spreads. Within eight months, almost one million people around the world, including 200,000 in the United States, are dead. Besides COVID-19, hurricanes, fires, and everyday stressors and hardships have taken a tragic toll. Our Brave New Year has not turned out the way we had imagined. We say Life isn’t fair. God isn’t fair. This week, God is inviting us to embrace and lean into these truths as good news. Yes, that’s right. We will explore how God’s unfairness, life’s unfairness, is good news because if we all received what we deserved, we’d be in big trouble! Instead of expecting or demanding fairness, we can expect God’s grace and mercy. (Much better!)
Our response to Life’s Not Fair! is this week’s worship theme: Living at the Corner of Grace and Mercy. Our first in-person and online hybrid worship experience is September 20. In the new and improved Worship Guide you can read about Jonah. He shockingly responded to personal success by sulking and complaining that God wasn’t fair when showing grace to people Jonah felt undeserving of mercy. Then consider Jesus’ story in Matthew 20:1-16 about employees’ angrily complaining about unfairness. As they picked up their paychecks at the end of the day, they compared theirs to others. Even though they worked more hours, everyone got the same amount. “Wait,” they cried, “That’s not fair!” Well, it isn’t fair. It’s not about fair, its about grace and mercy.
“What does God require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8). We are to love mercy, not justice. We are to love mercy, not fairness. Get ready to explore why we don’t seek a future of fairness, but a future of hope, depending on God’s grace and mercy through Jesus Christ. Good news!
Today’s theme of God’s grace and mercy are featured in our two musical selections. We begin with Great Is Thy Faithfulness. The popular song refers to Lamentations 3:22-23 but especially fits today’s readings. Our sending hymn is Grace Greater Than All Our Sin. We are recipients of God’s grace and also extenders of that same grace to others. The lyrics, “marvelous, infinite, matchless grace, freely bestowed on all who believe,” finds a scriptural basis in Paul’s teaching about faith in Romans 5:1-2: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”