Already and Not Yet

A reflection from Valeri Cho Tao, our pastoral intern, about our Lenten sermon series.

Our next sermon series will focus on the life lived between the now and the not yet.  On Resurrection Sunday, we celebrate the victory God has won over sin and death, through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.   But first, we observe Lent.  Much like Advent, Lent is a period of the church calendar where we wait.  We focus on reflection, on our own human condition and on the sacrifice of Jesus for our brokenness and that of the world. 

During Lent, we will sit in the uncomfortable, but all too common tension that we can experience glimpses of Kingdom of God, where God’s intended reality reigns NOW, but they are fleeting and never complete.  Loved ones get sick, family relationships are hard, money is tight, racism at the highest levels of power on down still exists, we are unreconciled, being a reconciling people is hard.  

But the Kingdom of God is here and now, and it is also not yet completely here.  We live in the now, while we wait, sometimes patiently, sometimes agonizingly for the not yet. Much of following Jesus is living in the tension of doing and waiting.  

Using 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 as a framework, we will examine how we can live as witnesses of the not yet in the now, through our individual lives, as a collective body, and in the systemic realm.  We are a reconciled to God because through the work of Jesus we can be in right relationship with him.  We are being reconciled with God, because on this side of heaven sin has been defeated but still has sway.  We are a reconciled people, but as we engage in the process of reconciling with each other across boundary lines, we live as a reflection of God’s intended community where injustice, difference, and privilege have no power.  The systems and structures of this world, and all of creation belong to God.  We advocate and call out injustice because we believe that the Kingdom of God brings a new reality in which all things will be as they should. 

Join us as we learn together.

- Valeri Chow Tao

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Community Prayer Requests

1) Pray for our nation in this election year.  Pray that the people will steward well their privilege of voting.  Pray that we would use our votes to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, not just our own.  Pray for good conversations to be had and for the body of Christ to be good reflection of God’s character and God’s love, especially in this season.

2) There have been over 75,000 cases of coronavirus diagnosed and over 2,000 people have died worldwide.  Pray that the spread of the virus would be stopped swiftly.  Pray for medical workers on the front lines, some without adequate protective equipment.  Pray for those infected and their families.

3) Local news outlets have reported recently on the neglect and mismanagement by some large affordable housing providers. Pray that everyone in our city has a safe and affordable place to call home.

Calendar & Opportunities

2020 Primary Candidates Forum | Saturday, February 22; 4:00PM
Come out and hear from the democratic candidates for Cook County State’s Attorney. It will be moderated by Pastor David and will take place at Progressive Baptist Church (3658 S. Wentworth Ave.).

Ash Wednesday Service | Wednesday, February 26; 7:00PM
Join us as we start the season of Lent together at Kennicott in the Kid City room. Those who are able will be fasting that day until after the service.

Praying the Psalms | March - May
As part of our focus on prayer, our community groups and Bible study will be reading through A Long Obedience in the Same Direction by Eugene Peterson. Books are available on Sunday for $14 (or pay what you can or grab one for free).

Potluck | Sunday, March 1; after service
Not this Sunday but next! Yum : ) Whatcha bringing to share?

PATS - Prayer Around The Schools | Saturday, March 7; 9:00AM
Meet at Kennicott to start a prayer walk around the neighborhood schools!

Spring AHEAD | Sunday, March 8; 2:00AM (on Saturday actually)

Set a reminder so you don't miss our time together!

Rediscipling the White Church Book Release | Sunday, May 17; 4:00PM
Save the date for Pastor David's book release party. More info coming soon.

Church Anniversary Celebration | Saturday - Sunday, May 30-31
Save the dates for our 10-Year Anniversary Celebration!

Church Retreat | Friday - Sunday, June 19-21
Save the dates for our annual retreat at Covenant Harbor in Lake Geneva, WI.

Open AA Meeting | Thursdays; 7:00-8:00 PM
Sponsored by The Chicago Area Service Office of Alcoholics Anonymous, the meeting is open to all who desire to stop drinking and is held in Room 425 of Mercy Hospital (2525 South Michigan Avenue; 312-567-2000).

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