It Don'd on Me

Update from Pastor Don

As of Tuesday March 24, Arlington has joined the Metroplex in ordering “Shelter in Place” for the time being.  The anxiety of the unknown can feel overwhelming, but we know that God is already around that corner, going ahead of us.  I invite you to keep praying, keep reading encouraging passages of Scripture, keep checking on one another by phone and internet, and pray especially for our most health- vulnerable friends.  And for the heroes who are courageously attending to them today in hospitals and clinics. 

    While we limit our physical connection on behalf of all, we are developing multiple ways to stay connected and to worship, study, pray and serve together.  Look just below to see how YOU are valued, wanted and invited to remain connected with your church family.  We continue to be Centered in Christ and Formed in Relationship.  You’ll find worship, Bible study, children’s connections, young adult opportunities, and our continuing call to daily prayer at noon.  Pause a moment if you can and read Romans 8:31-39.  Claim by faith what God can and will do, what opposing forces cannot do—then look at all that we can do together today and this week.  Then do it!  

Looking for you this week, Don

It Don'd On Me

As the CDC and local, state and Federal governments call for “Social Distancing” in an effort to curb the spread of Corona virus COVID-19, we and many communities of faith are taking this call seriously, and acting decisively with compassion and concern for the people most vulnerable to the worst outcomes of this virus.With God’s help and blessing, we choose to live and respond out of “agape love”: the “God-level Love” that always seeks the best interest and well-being of the other.The love that puts the real needs of others first, even when such actions call for sacrifice on our part—as it does on God’s part as well. Agape Love moved our Lord Jesus Christ from heavenly glory to human cradle, to horrible cross, to resurrection life and eternal crown. (Philippians 2:3-11) Jesus sacrificed much to model agape love and accomplish redeeming love’s salvation for us. In response to God’s love for us in Christ we seek the Spirit’s help and strength in loving one another as Christ loved us. (John 13:34-35) For now, this sacrificial love includes refraining from actions that actually define church: gathering together in worship, prayer, study and service of others. We are doing our best to stay connected “electronically,” with Sunday worship broadcast on Facebook live and available on our church website; with a new Wednesday evening virtual Bible Study to be led at first by your ministers, and by this “Friend” newsletter and other ways we can stay connected while physically apart. Your church Elders are trying to contact every active church member by phone, just to check in, ask how you are doing, ask what you may need, and how we may meet needs we couldn’t have anticipated. And to pray together with you. If you don’t receive a call in the next week, please don’t feel overlooked but rather call the church office, so we can be sure our calling list is accurate. Thank you! We continue to be the worshiping, praying, celebrating, serving, caring community of faith that is First Christian Church of Arlington. Jesus boldly proclaimed of His church that “the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” So an unknown stretch of time calling for our physical separation, doesn’t really have a chance to undo us, does it? Let’s be intentional now about being church: use those phones and devices to reach out to one another, check on each other, and pray for and with each other.Let’s all remember to pause each day at noon and offer prayer for our community and our world. We can always pray together.Church, we need to yearn, hurt and long for the day when we will gather, hug, sing, pray and praise in each other’s physical presence. We need to deeply miss worshiping together, passing and serving Communion to one another, breaking bread together, laughing and when needed, crying with one another. We need to long for eye contact and physical touch. This togetherness actually defines church. Until that joyful reunion—which will come —we stay connected in every way we can, while making the sacrifice of absence in body, which is the act of agape love required at this time for the good of all.It’s almost noon here—time to stop and pray with you, church.

Yours in Christ’s overcoming love,

Don

Posted by Dr. Don Wilson

Waiting Continues

We wait. Bigger than the day we wait to put up the tree or waiting to sing certain hymns until Christmas... Waiting is filled with presence. When we practice being present in the moment or being present with others while they wait on news or sitting alongside someone as they grieve or celebrate, that is a re- commitment to follow the one we disciple ourselves after.

Sharing our gifts to families in need, sharing joy with others through music, taking time to visit those who cannot be with our community regularly are all ways that we celebrate the waiting of the coming birth of Christ once again.

When we spend extra time in prayer or devotionals at home and with others, sharing honestly our hopes, joys, losses and concerns we are faithfully, fully practicing Discipleship.

Through worship, devotionals, concerts, caroling, sharing gifts, and our special services like our amazing Cantata Sunday and our longest night service on the 22nd. We hope that you and yours experience multiple ways to wait upon the birth of the Christ Child.

-Bill Jeffreys

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