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Refugee Resettlement Project

The mission committee helped to sponsor a refugee family through Dorcas International. A family from Syria, a husband, wife and their adult son,  arrived in Providence on July 28th.

Church members brought the donated household items to
A list of items needed was created on Walmart.com using their registry service. Everything was purchased!

Thank you, to all of you who helped make this happen, from Keisha Straughan, who leads our Mission Committee, the entire committee, anyone else who jumped in and all of you who donated all the items needed to make this happen. Especially, to this group pictured above who got all this done in a 3rd floor apartment on a hot summer day in Providence. This family is sure to feel welcome and loved.  Our church does great things! Excellent job everyone!

Thank you for your support.  Here is a slideshow of the day we prepared the apartment:

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BIBLE STUDY, Matthew 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Two: Tuesday, June 9th, 2020
Bible Lesson: Matthew 2:1-23

Reflection from Pastor Wayne Eberly:

“O Come Let Us Adore Him”
The importance of the Old Testament in this first book of the New Testament is almost impossible to overemphasize. As we read together you will be encouraged either to remember some of the stories that serve as the foundation of our faith, or perhaps to discover these rich episodes in the history of Israel for your very first time.

The second chapter of Matthew provides just such an opportunity.

    • Bethlehem is where another king made his appearance. Commanded by God to find a replacement for the failed King Saul, the prophet Samuel followed the instructions of God and made his way to Bethlehem. God said, “I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.” I Samuel 16 recounts the anointing of David, who was the youngest of Jesse’s sons, not even deemed worthy to attend this big event. Through the call of David we learn the beautiful and blessed lesson that although, “Humans look at the outward appearance, the Lord looks at the heart.”
    • Egypt was the setting of God’s great act of deliverance for Israel. But before Egypt was a place of oppression, Egypt was a place of salvation. The dreamer named Joseph rose through God’s providence to a powerful position in Egypt and thus was able to rescue his family in their time of crisis. It was only when another ruler arose who did not know Joseph that trouble set in. Egypt became a place where the ruthless acts of Pharaoh caused life to be bitter for the people of God. While all these details can be found by exploring the story of Joseph and his brothers beginning in Genesis 37 and continuing right into Exodus, Matthew’s reference from the Old Testament, “Out of Egypt I called my son,” comes from Hosea. If this is your first foray into Hosea, let me just warn you to buckle up.  And yet don’t let that warning keep you from reading to the later parts of Hosea. Treated poorly through countless acts of unfaithfulness, God nevertheless pours out his heart to his children, coming down firmly on the side of grace. “My heart is changed within me; all my compassion is aroused.” (Hosea 11:8)
    • Rachel weeping for her children is a double-edged sword that both cuts and heals. During the times before and during the exile to Babylon, Israel experienced a devastating upheaval. When the prophet Jeremiah referenced Rachel weeping for her children he was acknowledging the sad truth that innocent children often bear the brunt of suffering. Herod’s heartless murder of the innocents, following the cruel precedent set by Pharaoh way back in Exodus, is yet another example of how sin stains our world. But in Jeremiah, Rachel’s weeping is comforted as God points to a return from exile and the restoration of hope. (Jeremiah 31)

I think it goes without saying that Matthew has a lot to say in the second chapter of his gospel. Lest we become disheartened because some of these details escape our attention, do not be discouraged. The wise men that came from the East knew none of this information, and yet it did not keep them from doing the one thing God desires of everyone who meets his beloved Son. They bowed down in worship. Here we are in June, and yet it is never out of season to sing the familiar carol, “O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Commentary:

According to Martin Luther “The wise men here teach us the true faith. After they heard the sermon and the word of the prophet they were not slow to believe, in spite of obstacles and difficulties. First they came to Jerusalem, the capitol, and did not find him, the star also disappearing. (It would have been easy for them to say) Alas, we have traveled so far in vain, the star has misled us, it was a phantom…Yet when the wise men had overcome their temptation (to doubt and give up) they were born again by the great joy and took no offense at Christ…For although they enter a lowly hut and find a poor young wife with a poor little child, and find less of royal appearance than the homes of their own servants, they are not led astray. But in a great, strong, living faith they…treat the child as a king.” (Sermons of Martin Luther, Volumes 1-2, “Epiphany, p. 363)

BIBLE STUDY, Matthew 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day One: Monday, June 8th, 2020
Bible Lesson: Matthew 1:1-25

Reflection from Pastor Wayne Eberly:

IMMANUEL
What an introduction! The first verse of the first book of the New Testament declares that Jesus is the Christ, that Jesus is the son of David, and that Jesus is the son of Abraham.

    • Christ identifies Jesus as the Anointed One, the Expected One.
    • Son of David identifies Jesus with the golden age of Israel’s kingdom and the promise that one day a new king would arrive who was in the line and lineage of David.
    • Son of Abraham identifies Jesus with all the promises given through the father of our faith. Through Abraham God had promised that all peoples on earth would be blessed.

The genealogy that follows clearly connects Jesus to his ancestors David and Abraham.  From Abraham and Sarah, old in age and without offspring until their child of laughter named Isaac was born, the genealogy rises toward the great king David. But from David the genealogy begins a steep descent that ends in deep despair and dismay as the people are carried to their bitter exile in Babylon. From the exile the genealogy begins another ascent, the one that culminates in the coming of the Christ child.

But this is not only the story of a king from the line of David. Abraham reminds us of the far-reaching intentions of God to bless the whole earth, to bless all the peoples of the earth. If we race through the genealogy we might miss the names of the women whose presence boldly hints at the expansiveness of God’s grace. You might find great benefit in reviewing the stories of the women who are only mentioned by name.

    • Tamar: Genesis 38
    • Rahab: Joshua 2
    • Ruth: This special woman merits a whole book in the Bible, found right after Judges in the Old Testament
    • The wife of Uriah (Bathsheba): II Samuel 11

Matthew has carefully included ones who others might have chosen to exclude. Knowing that these women have a place in the genealogy of Jesus serves to put us on notice that Jesus will enter a world that is not neatly tied together like a fairy tale. The genealogy of Jesus is a powerful demonstration that God is able to work with real human lives in bringing a real human birth to one who will be a real Savior for this very real world. Knowing the challenging situations faced by the women in the genealogy prepares us to be with Joseph and Mary in their uncomfortable, and indeed scandalous predicament.

The one born out of this scandalous predicament will save his people from their sins. Indeed, the one born out of this scandalous situation will be God himself, God incarnate. You shall call him Immanuel, which means, “God is with us.”

 

 

 

 

 

 


Commentary:

Regarding Joseph and the appearance of
the angel, Aaron Klink writes, “The message part of this
text brings is that unexpected things, things outside of
convention can often be wonderful signs that God is at
work. Amid all our less-than-picture-perfect Christmases,
the Christmas trees that are not quite as perfect as we
want them to be, the lives that are not as perfect as we
want them to be, God does something new. Somehow
Joseph has to trust this strange news: That this child is
from the Holy Spirit; that he already has a name, Jesus;
and that he will save people from their sins…as Mary
and Joseph journeyed to this first Christmas, they did
not know where God would take them; all they knew
was that something wonderful had been promised and
that they had been beckoned to follow. So too the text
calls us to rise and follow God’s call, not knowing
where the journey will take us, or the path that God has
set us on.” (Aaron Klink, Feasting on the Word, Year A,
Volume 1, pgs. 94 and 96)