Eyes to See

Yesterday, before dinner, the boys and I took a walk through Jackson Park. Almost as soon as we entered the park we could hear the loud calls of the red-winged blackbirds. They perch in the treetops calling to each other across the lagoon. And I got excited! Why? Because these birds are some of the first to return to Chicago as winter thaws. It wasn't just the blue skies and warmer weather that hinted at spring's arrival; these noisy birds were also letting us know that warmer days are ahead.

On our way home, thinking about the return of the blackbirds, I remembered Valeri Chow Tao's sermon from this past Sunday: "The Now and Not Yet in Three Dimensions." She introduced a new sermon series by showing how we live in the not yet right now in the individual, communal, and systemic dimensions. 

What does that have to do with the birds? Well, my guess is that most Chicagoans missed the arrival of the red-winged blackbirds. I certainly would have except that the boys needed to burn off some of their energy outside. But I did see them and my whole day got better. I started thinking about spring and summer, the things our family enjoys doing outside, cookouts, etc. Like I said, I got excited. But I could have just as easily missed this hopeful sign.

That's the connection. Living between the now of Christ's resurrection and the not yet of his return means living by faith. We can seem to be surrounded with evidence of the not yet, so much so that we miss the signs of the now. And yet, those with eyes to see and ears to hear will stumble upon evidence that now - right now! - the kingdom of God has come near.

These weeks of Lent are invitation to see what we'd previously missed. What has gotten in the way of your ability to recognize the now of Christ and his kingdom? What sin can you turn away from? What addiction can you seek healing from? What invitation to the abundant life can you accept?

Lord Jesus, open our eyes to see you now even as we live in the not yet.

As we're all aware, COVID-19 continues to spread. Our ministry staff has been keeping an eye on best practices from other churches and our denomination. Thankfully there are some helpful resources to help us be thoughtful about how best to respond as a congregation. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
  1. If you're not feeling well, stay home, take care of yourself, and let us know how we can help.
  2. Wash your hands. (I know, we're all adults. But apparently this is something we needed to be reminded of.) We'll have extra hand sanitizer available on Sunday and no one will take it personally if you use it.
  3. Steer clear of rumors and speculation. The CDC has a helpful summary of COVID-19.
  4. Stand visibly and vocally against any instances of racism or xenophobia expressed toward Chinese people, other Asians, or Asian Americans.
This is a developing situations and we'll continue to watch it closely and make decisions that are for the good of our church and neighbors. We'll keep moving forward in faith, not fear.

- Pastor David

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) Pray that the spread of the coronavirus 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) Continue praying for the Delp's. Here's a link to their latest newsletter.

Calendar & Opportunities

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

Spring foward | Sunday, March 8; 2:00AM
Set a reminder so you don't miss our time together!

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. It's a great time to get involved. Email Won to get connected to a group near you.

Praying the Psalms Discussions | Sundays, March 15, April 19, May 17, June 14; after service
We are also holding four discussions. Lunch provided. You will have an opportunity to sign up on Sundays or you can RSVP to Amy.

Asian in America: Following Jesus in Multiracial Space | Saturday, March 21; 10:00AM
If you are an Asian in American, please join us for intimate conversations about Asian identity in our country and in a multi-ethnic church. Childcare provided. We will meet at the Harris’s home (4501 S. Forrestville).

Prayer/Worship Night | Friday, March 20; 7:00PM
Join us at the Ministry Center (3627 S. Cottage Grove) for an intimate time of worship and prayer. 

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
Registration is now open 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).

Google Group
Join our Google Group for unofficial church news, happenings etc.

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