July 9, 2018

Dear FPC—

              It is great to be home!  My trip was very fun but I’m so happy to be back home with my sweetheart. 

Adam preached Sunday on one of my favorite passages—from Jeremiah about the need to live as exiles who seek the prosperity of the city to which God has taken them.  It is striking to realize that Babylon was their enemy.  They were supposed to seek the welfare of their conquerors?  Radical!

Several years ago I heard a sermon by Fuller President Mark Labberton that really impacted how I think about the church’s role in society.  Dr. Labberton talked about how for much of American history we have seen ourselves as in the Promised Land, but that recently it has felt like we are actually living in Exile.  The reason for the Exile, of course, was the people’s failure to live as God’s distinctive people when they were in the Promised Land.  I wonder if that speaks at all to our current cultural moment?  Does the church’s seeming loss of influence and stature in society—our move from the Promised Land to Exile—relate at all to our own faithfulness (or lack of faithfulness) to God’s call to us to be his special, missionary people? 

              What if God is calling us to live here in Ogden as strangers, as aliens, who are actively seeking the welfare of even their enemies?  What would that look like for us?  That is exactly what we will be examining as we look at what the church is called to be this summer.  I hope you will be able to worship with us! 

              Next week is an exciting week for our church family—we will be having our Family Promise guests here for the first time.  They arrive around 5:30 on Sunday afternoon.  We’ll be having an open house in the gym after worship so you can see where they’ll be and what is still needed for them.  We have had a great response from people signing up to volunteer—thank you!!  But, if you’d like to check it out, you are welcome to come visit in the evenings! 

              Blessings to you in this beautiful summer!

 

Pastor Steve