COVID-19 ANNOUNCEMENT

Hey family,

the elders have decided that we will open up the building Sunday mornings for our 10:30 am worship as an option for those who are ready to return to the building.

We're calling this a "soft opening" as we are still going to be utilizing Zoom on Sunday(s) for all who are not yet ready for a return to the building. However, since we do have a number of us ready to resume going to the building, we are making that available as an option for anyone who would like to join.

The Zoom service will be displayed live on the big screen for all who are at the building. Communion will be offered in person at the building, with individually packaged bread and juice cups, while the rest of the worship service will take place over Zoom.

For those who plan to join, we will be following the state protocol for churches re-opening, which means masks will be required, we will do temperature checks at the door, and will be seating at a social distance.

If you are interested in attending Sunday, please plan to be there by 10:15 so that there will be time to get everyone situated before we begin worship.

Many blessings to each of you this day and this week as you continue to navigate our circumstances, and as you discern and make decisions for yourselves and your families. We'll take things week by week and hope that the day will come as soon as possible where we can all be gathered again face to face for worship.

Grace and peace,

Jon


(Due to COVID-19, we are currently utilizing Zoom for our Sunday morning worship services and Wednesday night prayer and devotional, with our zoom meeting invite links being sent through email. If you would like to receive these emails, please let us know so we can add you to our contact list.

This page is being updated regularly with prayer requests and Jon's most recent message, as well as our weekly scripture readings and questions for reflection, so be sure to revisit often.)

6/28/2020


Greetings friends and family,


Blessings to you this morning in the name of Christ.


This morning we finish up our three-week miniseries from Matthew 10, Jesus' Missionary Discourse and his challenging words of commission and warning as he summons the disciples as Laborers into God's harvest field.


What did Jesus mean when he told the disciples he had come not to bring peace, but a sword? These pointed and prophetic words of Jesus are often some of his most misunderstood. When Jesus sends his disciples out among the towns and villages of Israel, their message is that the kingdom of heaven is near, and while we might hear these words as good news, we often miss the kind of threat that these words posed in their original context! If a new kingdom is near, that means the existing kingdom is under threat. If a new king is coming it is not good news for the seated king, for the established regime, rule and reign. This is unsettling news! Pointed news! Sharp, like a sword. This is the kind of news, when acted upon, that can cause even family members to turn on one another. And so when Jesus says to the disciples that acknowledging him before people may turn father against son and mother against daughter, it's because acknowledging a new king and kingdom puts a target on a persons back - they become a threat and even those who love them the most might turn on them. Jesus, of course, didn't come to bring a literal sword, his revolt did not come through the use of violent force. However, it did cause tremendous social upheaval and unrest, and so when Jesus tells the disciples they must lose their lives, the threat is very real.. Our call today to lose our lives carries with it the same weight: when we take seriously the kingdom of heaven and it's call upon our lives, it stirs things up, because it means standing among the helpless and harassed, the marginalized and oppressed and trust that it is among them that God is building the kingdom!


God bless each of you as you hear Jesus' call to lose your own life for the sake of others. Because it is by this posture of self sacrifice, of taking up our Cross, that the kingdom of God comes near.


Grace and peace,

Jon


Discussion Questions:

1.) How is God calling you to lose your life in this moment?

2.) How does the kingdom of God fit into your understanding of the Gospel?

3.) How does this discussion regarding Jesus use of the term "sword" change your understanding of what he means by using that phrase?





Church announcements & Prayer List from Sunday 7/5/20

 

  • The church mail box has been fixed! Contributions can now be sent to the church address: 995 East Lassen Ave.; Chico, CA 95973
  • Wednesday Night Prayer and Devotional on Zoom this Wed., July 8
  • Continue to pray for the country
  • Vicky Benner – back problems- now confined to a wheelchair
  • Porter's (best friend of Henry McManus) mother Rachel passed away
  • Russ Bates – 2nd cancer spot (melanoma) on his head removed successfully
  • Gene Benson passed away (Friend of the Hinkles and Almond Grove Mobile Park manager)
  • Karen Volpato – staying at Sabbath House – adjusting well
  • Bob Abercrombie’s wife - Esophagus surgery Wed. in Lodi
  • Tammy Cessna – foot surgery Wed.
  • Roxanna Parker (Cathryn Flores’ neighbor) – Low blood count, has leukemia
  • Shirley Weagle – pain and discomfort
  • Jon's family – Jon took a quick trip to Portland to be with and support his parents, Joel and Brenda. Joel has been having health issues and this week he found one of his best friends passed away in his home
  • Logan Bradley, Beth Bradley’s daughter (21 Months Old) – On-going chemotherapy treatments at UC Davis Medical for the next 2 months
  • Star Sullivan has been in the hospital


Birthdays This Week

Stevie Bristow  - July 5

Dianne Beebe - July 7

Adam Davis  - July 11


Anniversaries

Bob and Rhonda Terrell - July 5



Christie is working from home now but will still be receiving calls through the office to communicate needs and prayer requests. 


If you are able to make a contribution, please mail it in to the office at:

Chico Church of Christ

995 E. Lassen Ave.

Chico, CA 95973


If you are not able to mail it in, call the office and Christie will help you make other arrangements.

Phone: 530.893.8565



ONGOING PRAYER REQUESTS


Members

Those working on the frontlines in healthcare: Annella's daughter, Summer, Katie Mishler's sister, Melissa, Lauren Kleimann, and all the others

Jon's family – Jon took a quick trip to Portland to be with and support his parents, Joel and Brenda. Joel has been having health issues and this week he found one of his best friends passed away in his home

Tammy Cessna – foot surgery Wed.

Shirley Weagle – pain and discomfort

Joyce Crawford

Bill Such

Russ Bates

Star Sullivan

Cy Weagle

John Turner asks that we join him in praying for a swift return to normal activities

Francis and Grace Herring

Joyce Crawford

Dee Miller

Steve and Ann Bokulich

Sue McGowan

Tom Beebe

Hilary Kingsley – pregnancy

Russ Bates

Jimmy and Jean Sowell

Viva Rhodes

Donna and Angelo Austin

Cathy Taylor


Friends and family

Roxanna Parker (Cathryn Flores’ neighbor) – Low blood count, has leukemia

Vicky Benner – back problems- now confined to a wheelchair

Henry McManus' best friend Porter, whose mother passed away a couple of weeks ago

Tommy Thompson

Pat Haselton

Matthew Fleming

Joe Glenn

Joyce Rodriguez (Cy’s sister)- cancer in her nose

Beth Bradley’s daughter Logan – Leukemia

Viva’s nephew, Carl

LeAnn McManus

Roger and Brenda Greene - friends of Debbie Farris - Roger has been diagnosed with cancer

Amber Cessna – pregnancy

Russ Bates sister

Dottie Hagen

Dana and Jim Shepherd

Dale Bradley

Mike Ralph

Esther Rassmussen

Dennis, Ted’s brother-in-law

Renee Castro

Dale Ritter

Joe Fleege


Friends & Families of These Loved Ones Who Have Passed Away Recently

Gene Benson (Friend of the Hinkles)

Rachel (Henry McManus’ best friend Porter's mother)

Margorie Christy (Shirley’s sister-in-law) - June 28

Keith Crummer - June 5

Katie Mishler's mother, Martha

Dean Hancock (Rod Thomson’s brother-in-law)

Bob Carper

Bill Rogers (friend of Tammy Cessna)

Flay Louden (Larry Bradley’s sister’s brother-in-law) - April 19

Willadean (Dean) Kelley (Tim Kelley’s mom) - April 15

Maria Riley (friend of the Bradleys) - April 14

Linda Kingsley - April 2

Trena (Wakefield) Hoff (niece of Toni & Johnny Farris)- April 1

Audie Henry (Cindy Rost's brother) - March 16

Louise Renfro (Weagle’s son-in-law Eric's mother)



Missions

Sandy Rogers-Kojima, Japan

Steve and Josie Mock-Philippines

Alan and Ree Nalley-Brazil

Wycliffe Bible Translators-Jim & Barbe

Albright

Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Effort

Agape Villages


Good morning, family.


God bless you this day, the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.


As I reflect upon the scriptures this week, the word that has come to my mind, and is perhaps a loose connection shared between the passages, is the word identity. As I read these texts, I am asking myself, "what - or who! - do I identify with?"


The text from Genesis 22, one of the most difficult and brutal in the entirety of the scriptures - Abraham's binding of Isaac and intent to sacrifice him - is profound in how it portrays Abraham identifying with God as both provider and faithful to promises made. Abraham so deeply identifies with God, has such faith in God and God's provision and faithfulness that he goes forward with the unthinkable.


Psalm 13, a classic lament text, so deeply identifies with God's faithfulness, God's provision, protection, and God's love and care, that the psalmist dares to hope. Psalms of lament are so powerful because they are written out of a profound certainty that our present sufferings are not what God desires for us, and will never have the final say! Psalms of lament are a unique kind of hope in that the writers would not cry out, the writers would not lament if they didn't identify so deeply with God, and with hope in God's desires for us! The psalm makes the turn of transformation at the end, thereby confirming that the psalmist's identity in trial is not misplaced or misguided.


Romans 6 calls us to identify so deeply with God and with righteousness in the world that we would call ourselves slaves! It's a remarkable and provocative turn of phrase here that Paul uses: we're slaves to (we identify with) something, either still slaves to Sin and it's dominion over us and the earth, or we identify as slaves to God - and in being a slave to God and God's righteousness we actually, ironically, find our freedom, our liberation!


Finally, our text in Matthew, about welcome, calls us to deeply identify with others - to welcome them. The text ties together welcome and reward, in that when we welcome others, when we identify with them, we receive reward. What's striking in the text is how in this act of welcoming one another, we welcome Christ, and thus, welcome God among us. To identify with others to the extent that we open ourselves up to them in welcome is a holy, sacred participation in the life of God. Extending a cool cup of water to one who is thirsty is a profound act of identity - with God and with the other.


Many blessings as you dwell this week in the scriptures. May you find your identity in the God who is faithful, who looks after us, who is with us and who welcomes us. May it be a cool cup of water in and through you.


Grace and peace,

Jon




Scriptures For This Week: June 28, 2020


Genesis 22:1-14

After these things God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 2 He said, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains that I shall show you.” 3 So Abraham rose early in the morning, saddled his donkey, and took two of his young men with him, and his son Isaac; he cut the wood for the burnt offering, and set out and went to the place in the distance that God had shown him. 4 On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place far away. 5 Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the donkey; the boy and I will go over there; we will worship, and then we will come back to you.” 6 Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. So the two of them walked on together. 7 Isaac said to his father Abraham, “Father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” He said, “The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” 8 Abraham said, “God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So the two of them walked on together.

9 When they came to the place that God had shown him, Abraham built an altar there and laid the wood in order. He bound his son Isaac, and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to kill his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven, and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” 12 He said, “Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me.” 13 And Abraham looked up and saw a ram, caught in a thicket by its horns. Abraham went and took the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place “The Lord will provide”; as it is said to this day, “On the mount of the Lord it shall be provided.”




Psalm 13

    1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

    How long will you hide your face from me?

2 How long must I bear pain in my soul,

    and have sorrow in my heart all day long?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!

    Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,

4 and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”;

    my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

5 But I trusted in your steadfast love;

    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

6 I will sing to the Lord,

    because he has dealt bountifully with me.



Romans 6:12-23

12 Therefore, do not let sin exercise dominion in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions. 13 No longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and present your members to God as instruments of righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

15 What then? Should we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that you, having once been slaves of sin, have become obedient from the heart to the form of teaching to which you were entrusted, 18 and that you, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness for sanctification.

20 When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Matthew 10:40-42

40 “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. 41 Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; 42 and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.”