This Week’s Preview
We like thinking that life is simple. We prefer fewer choices and default to think binary, choosing between two things. Day/night. No/Yes. Either/or. Off/on. Bad/good. Right/wrong. Sacred/secular. Dry/wet. Poor/rich. Democrat/Republican. Foreigner/resident. Female/male. Believer/unbeliever. Dark/light. You can add many more binary examples of your own.
We look at life through simple, safe/dangerous absolutes, even as small children. Consider the things that go bump in the night. That is what scares us when we are children. And the same panic can continue as a fear factor throughout our adult lives. The same fear inspires all those “teenage slasher” movies, zombie stalker sagas, and ghost stories you heard around a campfire. Our need to divide the world into a “safe” (day) and a “scary” (night) is a way to manage the chaos and unexpected outcomes that are part of daily living. We reassure our kids that there is nothing “bad” at night. God created the world and said it was all good. The world of day and the world of the night is the same. The world created by the divine does not know the difference between night and day. God’s presence is always and everywhere, even when the world looks dark and scary, not just when the world looks sunny and bright.
The amazingly diverse world and God’s abiding presence are behind the text in this week’s reading from Acts. Oh, and it’s all about food. Actually, it’s about people who prefer their regional culinary favorites to the exclusion of tasty favorites enjoyed by outsiders. Peter (Jewish) had already been preaching to the Gentiles (non-Jewish) about Jesus. He was criticized by Jewish believers but still cling to their favorite foods (Kosher) and unique Jewish identity (God’s chosen).
This Sunday, let’s join Peter as he was challenged to enjoy an incredible assortment of foods and the people who prepared new meals. He was urged to eat like Jesus. And by enjoying new foods, Peter could begin to love like Jesus, too, who called him to be freed from binary thinking.
Are you hungry to discover new, nutritious spiritual food? Come and get it!
Barbara Cain will be singing a selection from the Glory to God Hymnal, A Grateful Heart. This paraphrase of Psalm 111 lists God’s praiseworthy characteristics. These attributes are organized as an acrostic on the Hebrew alphabet in the original text.
Following the message, our music video is O God of Every Nation. This hymn won first place in a contest co-sponsored by the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada and the National Council of Churches. It was first sung at the Council’s Fifth World Order Conference held in Cleveland, Ohio, in November 1958. If we genuinely believe that God cares for all people, we cannot limit our prayers and songs for peace to the welfare of our own nation, no matter how much we may love it. This challenging text is set to a stirring Welsh tune, named for a hamlet with a prominent Baptist chapel.
Today, our sending hymn is Draw the Circle Wide, written by singer, songwriter, and guitarist Gordon Light in 1994. The words of the refrain to this catchy melody use the metaphor of a circle. Draw the circle wide brings to mind that all points in a circle are the same distance from the center. Jesus Christ is the center of our circle, the center of all life (Colossians 1). When we are in a circle, all are visible to one another – “No one stands alone. We’ll stand side by side.” A circle is drawn when the outside points revolve around the center point—rather than vice versa. Many will say, there shouldn’t be a circle at all. However, if you read the lyrics, you will see that everyone ends up inside the circle. Jesus said, “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself” (John 12:32).
“…That you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:18).
Whatever your religious affiliation, or none at all, we all hear Jesus say, “Come to me all who are overburdened, and find rest for your soul!” Everyone is welcomed at Cold Spring Church. Yes, everyone!
Enjoy sitting with others from greater Cape May as we worship together. We simplified our service and made it even easier to participate, with our Worship Guide and lyric videos displayed on a large screen.
Physical distancing and masks are NOT required!
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Energize your life and discover the amazing love of Jesus! This week is the perfect time to join us in person for worship. Enjoy live music and solo, lyric videos, and a message of hope from God’s word.
We are excited to welcome to worship all who are able and comfortable in our historic Red Brick Church on Sundays at 10:30 AM.