Sunday, December 28, 2014

January 2015 Newsletter

Family of Hope House Church                January 2015

God chose to live in a mobile home

"And the Word became flesh and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us..."John 1:14 (Amplified)

"Wherever I have moved about among all the people of Israel, did I ever speak a word with any..., saying, 'Why have you not built me a house of cedar?'"2 Samuel 7:7 (NRSV)

In a recent Advent lectionary reading, King David is troubled about the fact that he is living in luxury in a new palace while the ark of the covenant, representing God's presence, remains in a mobile tent.
     For over four centuries, ever since their emigration from Egypt, God's visible "home" for the Jewish people was a portable tent, a “tabernacle”, rather than a permanent temple. Apparently God preferred it that way, having given elaborate instructions (Exodus 25-27) for this modest size "mobile home" and having never given any directions for building a more expansive structure dedicated to the worship of God.
     King Solomon, claiming God's approval, took it upon himself to build the first permanent Jewish temple, with elaborate features but still relatively small compared to many of today's places of worship. His temple was destroyed and then rebuilt on a somewhat more modest scale under Nehemiah after the Jewish return from their exile in Babylon.
     In Jesus' day King Herod built a beautiful temple that symbolized the hopes of a nation, then under Roman oppression, that was longing for its former glory under King Solomon's rule.
     It is clear that Jesus was never impressed by such signs of religious splendor and power. He never owned any real estate and chose to consider his followers as his living home, his sacred dwelling. Never once did he instruct his followers to go into all the world and construct buildings for worship, and members of the first century church met in each others' homes and in other available spaces.
     God likes tents, prefers to live in mobile homes, in a people who are solely devoted to his mission as announced by the prophet Isaiah:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
   to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)

Notes, prayers and praises

SPECIAL JANUARY BIRTHDAY BLESSINGS to James Stauffer 1/8, Susan Campbell 1/17,  Becky Morlan 1/28, Dick Dumas 1/30
THE HEIFER INTERNATIONAL Christmas offering was $300.
LOIS RIVERA-WENGER will be doing voluntary service in Phoenix through April. Pray for her as she takes on this assignment. Her address is: c/o Hospitality Service, 4443 West Vista Avenue, Glendale, AZ 85301. Her cell phone number remains the same.

January Lectionary readings

4  Jeremiah 31:7-14 Psalm 147:12-20 Ephesians 1:3-14 John 1:1-18
11  Genesis 1:1-5  Psalm 29  Acts 19:1-7  Mark 1:4-11
18  1 Samuel 3:1-20  Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18  1 Corinthians 6:12-20
John 1:43-51
25  Jonah 3:1-5, 10  Psalm 62:5-12  1 Corinthians 7:29-31  Mark 1:14-20

January services worship at 4, meal at 6

4 Location: James & Ruth Stauffer 1250 Parkway Dr 22802     574-6141
Worship and Sharing: Harvey Yoder
Bible Study: Paul Swarr                                                      Carry-in Meal

11 Annual Business Meeting: Guy & Margie Vlasits 3448 Caverns Dr., K’town 908-0391    
Worship and Bible Study: Harvey Yoder  
18 Location: Family Life Resource Center 273 Newman Ave.  432-0531
Worship and Sharing: James Stauffer
Bible Study: Dick Dumas                                            Finger Foods Meal

25 Location: Susan Campbell 1361 Lincolnshire Dr, 22802           564-1524
Worship and Sharing: Susan Campbell
Bible Study: Elly Nelson                                                   Carry-in Meal

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