Strength For The Journey

Isaiah 35.3-4

September 13, 2020 • Curt McFarland

As I write this, September 11, 2020 I am reminded of that horrible morning in 2001. Fear grabbed on to me that day … and on to our nation and world. Fear has increased over the years since. I have heard the words fear or afraid more in these past months than I have at any other time in my life. Fear of an unseen virus. Fear of the destruction of the environment. Fear of fire and hurricane. Fear that one candidate or the other will win the election. Fear of the economy. Fear of the loss of a job. Fear of a health crisis … So much fear. There is good reason to be afraid … listen to the news! Fear sells newspapers, it makes us sell out our neighbors, it keeps us from listening, or responding to others with grace and love, it causes us to buy products that shamelessly promise to protect us but never do. That’s not how we are suppose to live! For those who trust God, who love Jesus, trouble will come … but it does not have the last word. It cannot capture or enslave us. Our savior has come. That takes a bit of reminding with all that is happening around us and to us. Confronted by those who shouted, “Be afraid!”, “Crucify Him” and, “we have no king but Caesar,” there was One who walked right into the heart of trouble. He faced the hostility of the crowd. He was led to a hill outside the city, stretched out His hands, said things like, “Father forgive them …”, “into Thy hands I commit my spirit”, and, “It is finished.” And with that act of love the worst of our fears lost all its power over us. This Fall please consider joining our ten-week all church study (by joining a ten-week group) focused on the book “AHA.” I’ve just started the book and see why Bill chose this for us as we return home! Pastor Curt

Lost And Found

Luke 15.11-12 • October 4, 2020 • Bill Williamson

This week we begin to look at the Parable of the Prodigal, or Lost Son. As we will see this week, in Luke 15 Jesus tells three different parables about something or someone that was lost, but then is found, and once found there is a celebration. We have probably all experienced losing something, or probably more accurately, forgetting where we placed something. There is a moment of panic, then a frantic search for the item, and hopefully most times, what was lost, or misplaced, is found and there is such great relief. You almost feel like throwing a party. With the Parable of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and the Lost Son, there was indeed a party that was thrown. But, that's not the point of the stories. Jesus makes it clear that each of those stories is about how lost people were found by God, and that when anyone who is lost is found by Christ, there is a party going on in heaven. Perhaps you can remember such a time, a day, or a gradual experience when Christ became your Lord and Savior. You were lost, but eventually, by the pursuit of God through the Holy Spirit, you were found. A party was thrown in your honor. You were lost, far from God, far from home, but now you are found, you have been redeemed and reconciled to your Heavenly Father. As we look into the story of the Lost Son, and as you may participate in reading the AHA book on your own or in a group, may God continue to bring you closer to Himself and to others, as we journey together to our eventual homecoming celebration.

Highway Of Holiness

Isaiah 35.8-10 • September 27, 2020 • Dennis Whitcher

In our series, "The Homecoming" we have learned about preparing to go home; strength for the journey; and a vision for 2020 and beyond. This Sunday we will learn about the highway that will get us home. The Highway of Holiness. This Highway of Holiness runs from a manger in Bethlehem to a cross on Calvary’s Hill, to the tomb in the garden, to the resurrection, and to the right hand of God the Father Almighty. This is the only path that leads through the wilderness of life to eternal life. What road are you walking today? Are you on the King's Highway? Has he lifted you out of the miry clay of this world and set your feet on His path? If so, you ought to praise Him for it. Or are there adjustments that need to be made in the road you are on? In Christ, Dennis Whitcher

2020 Vision

Isaiah 35.5-7 • September 20, 2020 • Bill Williamson

This Sunday we begin our Homecoming Celebration when we come together Sunday morning at 10am in our parking lot to worship together - following our 6 months of quarantine. The service will be live streamed to YouTube at 10am (search for Yakima Grace) and will posted a bit later to our website, app and Facebook. If you want to join us at church on Sunday, you can reserve your spot online at YakimaGrace.com/sept20. Space is limited. Pastor Bill will bring the message from Isaiah - who was used by God to bring both good news and bad news to the Israelites. The bad news is that God was going to judge His people because of their rebellious hearts. The good news is sewn into the pages with the pronouncement of the coming of Christ in those famous words in Isaiah 9: "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders." That would be good news for the Israelites, as well as for us. Jesus, while here on earth proclaimed: "The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” And, as Jesus ascended into heaven, He passed on the Mission to go and make disciples of all nations. You and I have the Spirit of the Lord upon us, in order that we too can share the Good News of Christ to the world. We are now, like Isaiah, God's mouthpiece of Good News in a world that is often so filled with bad news.