March 16, 2016
Dear Eastridge Family,
Since tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day I thought I would share with you a few verses from the hymn, St. Patrick's Breastplate. The hymn has nine verses but I will only share five of these verses:
I bind this today to me forever
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river,
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb,
His riding up the heavenly way,
His coming at the day of doom
I bind unto myself today.
I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.
Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility
I bind to me these holy powers.
Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.
By Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.
St Patrick's breastplate is a remarkable hymn. It is a tremendous call to follow Paul's exhortation to “put on the whole armor of God” (Ephesians 6:10 – 18). Patrick put on this Trinitarian armor in the face of human-sacrificing Druids, wizards, deadly tyrants, and worst of all, “the heart's idolatry.”
It is helpful to know more about Patrick to appreciate some of the lyrics of this masterful hymn. The exact dates of his life are not certain, but about 390 – 461. His day has been memorialized as a Feast Day in the West on March 17.
He was the son of a Romano-British Christian kidnapped from his home in Scotland at 16 to be a slave in Ireland. He escaped to Gaul where he became a monk and then devoted his life to go back to the place of his captivity to bring them the gospel.
He knew the free grace of God which comes through faith in Christ. He wrote in his Confessio,
"I, Patrick, a sinner, a most simple countryman, the least of all the faithful and most contemptible to many...I was taken captive. I was at that time about sixteen years of age. I did not, indeed, know the true God; and I was taken into captivity in Ireland with many thousands of people....And there the Lord opened my mind to an awareness of my unbelief, in order that, even so late, I might remember my transgressions and turn with all my heart to the Lord my God, who had regard for my insignificance and pitied my youth and ignorance. And he watched over me before I knew him, and before I learned sense or even distinguished between good and evil, and he protected me, and consoled me as a father would his son. Therefore, indeed, I cannot keep silent, nor would it be proper, so many favors and graces has the Lord deigned to bestow on me in the land of my captivity."
· Work Day/Cleaning Day
On Saturday March 19th starting at 8AM we will have a cleaning/work day at the church trying get things ready for Easter guest. The stewards are asking you to bring cleaning supplies that you could use as we do a good spring cleaning. The Trustees have a list of projects that need attention. The plan is to provide pizza for lunch for all the workers.
“Many hands make light work.”
The Easter Offering is for the World Evangelism Fund (WEF). Traditionally, WEF is collected through two large offerings each year “the Thanksgiving and Easter offerings.” The Nazarene Church has always had a strong history of supporting missions through their generous giving through these offerings.
The law of harvest states that you may not reap when and where you sow—but you will always reap what you sow. As we prepare to give to this offering, remember it will come back to you (Luke 6:38) and the Lord…will bless you in everything Deuteronomy 15:10.
· Easter Sunday March 27th
We will start our day with a Continental Breakfast at 9:00 AM – 9:45 AM. Followed by our Easter Service at 10:00 AM. We will have Children’s Church as normal followed by our EASTER EGG HUNT.
We still have need for candy donations for the Easter Egg hunt as well as workers to help stuff the eggs on the Saturday before Easter at 2PM. We also have s signup sheet for the breakfast in the entry way at the church.
The reason we have scheduled these special activities like Easter Egg hunt and Breakfast is to create an opportunity for us to invite unchurch friends and family to expose them to God’s people or to give them a “nudge” towards Jesus. These activities are not designed to give us something to do. So even if you do not have children who will be participating in the Easter Egg Hunt you may consider staying around to meet new people and show the love of Jesus to them. Your first choice may not include having breakfast at the church but if we look at it from the perspective as an opportunity; an opportunity to visit with guest visitors why not come?
· Easter donations
Thank you to those who have already donated money to purchase candy and toys for the Easter Egg Hunt. It does take a lot of candy to fill all of the Easter Eggs so we will certainly accept more donations. We have sign-up sheets in the entryway at the church for items for the breakfast or to help with some of the activities. Also we will be filling the eggs on the Saturday March 19th the week before Easter at noon.
· Pastor Josh resignation
As most of you have heard Pastor Josh and Jill will be leaving Wichita to move to Olathe to accept a position as Youth Pastor at Living Hope Church of the Nazarene. Their last Sunday here at Eastridge will be Sunday April 3rd.
· Favorite Quotes of the Week
“Fighting sheep are strange animals, and fighting Christians are self-evident contradictions.” – C.H. Spurgeon
"No man knows how bad he is till he has tried very hard to be good." - C.S. Lewis
"The sin that is most destructive in your life right now is the one you are most defensive about." – Tim Keller
"Trying to be happy without a sense of God's presence is like trying to have a bright day without the sun." – A.W. Tozer
I am looking forward to working with you on Saturday and worshipping with you on Sunday,