One of my close friends has gone through significant challenges in his life. His mother was killed tragically when he was a boy. His twin brother (and only sibling) was killed in a car accident in his early 20s. His dad gave him a hard time growing up, and he lived with an aunt for most of his early years. He waited until he was 45 to get married. And nine months later he discovered his wife was diagnosed with M.S.
Psalm 121 was the last psalm his father quoted to him before he died. My friend has struggled with this psalm (understandably) because of the realities of life. It doesn’t always seem from our perspective that God will always protect us – loved ones die, storms come, families are broken, disease takes over; but God, the Source of all help and protection promises to be with us.
Psalm 121 is referred to as a song of ascent – or a pilgrim psalm. The pilgrim is contemplating a journey to Jerusalem – through the hills – asks the question, “from where does my help come?” When we are on a pilgrimage, we are not just looking for a place where the grass is greener, but we realize there is a destination that is actually beyond life that God is calling us to, and part of the pilgrimage means that God is our companion along the way.
We all need protection and help in life, especially when life is hard – when we are struggling with job pressures, or marriage stress, or disease, or the loss of a loved one, or relationship problems – and the list goes on.
Psalm 121 explores the issue of providence. This idea of providence is that God has created and controls the world; therefore, God is involved in everyday life to provide and to protect. God is the one who protects and provides for us in creation – even when we cannot understand life or our particular challenge.
The psalmist discovered the answer to his question in affirming his faith – that the Lord, who created the heavens and the earth, including those hills as he looked to Zion, was his only Source of help. When we are going through trials and hardships in this life, may we acknowledge that the only answer to our problems is THE SOURCE of all help, our faithful Lord!
Pastor Glen’s sermon this Sunday is entitled, “Protection in Challenging Times,” based upon Ephesians 6:16. Please read this text in preparation for worship. PLEASE REMEMBER to set your clocks ahead one hour, as Daylight Savings Time begins at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning. Spring ahead!!
Adult Sunday School
Our Adult Sunday school class will meet this Sunday at 9:30 a.m. in the sanctuary. Please join Janet Coiner and others for a wonderful time around God’s Word!! We will be continuing a study of the Gospel of Luke. This Sunday we will study Luke 13: Questions and Answers by Jesus! Please bring your Bible!!
Exploring HOPE is a great way to learn more about who we are as a church family and what it means to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. You will learn about HOPE’s history, vision, and beliefs, and learn about ways you can get involved at a deeper level, including through church membership. This 2 ½ hour class will include lunch and childcare.
Our next Exploring HOPE Class will meet after worship THIS Sunday! If you would like to participate in the class or have questions, please contact Pastor Glen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Tithes and Offerings
An offering box is available when you enter or exit the sanctuary. Additionally, online giving opportunities are available on the website.
If you are interested in purchasing an Easter Lily for the beautification of our sanctuary on Easter, there is a sign-up sheet in the Welcome Center. You may purchase them for $10 in memory of or in honor of someone. Let’s make our sanctuary look beautiful on Resurrection Day!!
Women’s Bible Study
We are excited that our women’s Bible Study has been launched! We are studying Elijah, utilizing Priscilla Shirer’s wonderful study “Faith and Fire”! We began the study on Tuesday, February 7th and will continue each Tuesday through March 21st. There will be two options for participating in the study: Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. and Tuesdays 6:30 p.m. Ladies, we look forward to your participation!!
Our Men’s ministry will meet at 2:00 p.m. next Wednesday, March 15th. We welcome ALL men to join us for this time of fellowship and to explore service opportunities!
Prayer Concerns and Praise Reports
If you have any concerns you would like to add to the Prayer Concerns and Praise Reports list or give an update, PLEASE contact our prayer coordinator, Janet Coiner (540.447.0918) by THURSDAY at NOON!! Thanks so much!!
If you or someone in our congregation needs a ride to a doctor’s appointment or other appointment, please call Tom Reider (540.649.5162). He has agreed to coordinate rides. He has a list of those who have volunteered to give those rides. We are grateful for this important ministry!!
During March we are collecting Diapers in support of Love INC! They are in need of sizes 3, 4, 5, and 6 diapers or pull-ups, as well as diaper wipes. Please share your donation at the table in the rear of the sanctuary. We are grateful for our partnership with Love INC!
Missions Team is active keeping in touch with our missionaries and other ministries. Please keep updated! You can visit our website and go to the Outreach page
January Financial Report
Tithes: Monthly: $19,010 YTD: $19,010
Expenses: Monthly: $14,380.18 YTD: $14,380.18
We have also received monies designated for our capital campaign and restricted giving. In January we received $1,285 for our capital campaign.
Alice Reider (3/13); Ruby Lucas (3/16); Esther Danraj (3/18); Sean O’Ram (3/25); Debby Ray (3/31)