A Day of Hope
United faith community, Praise and worship
Dunkin Donuts Park
July 29 > 12-4pm
Women's Bible Study Zoom
ID 6039038648 Pwd Freedom
Open discussion group
Contact Cindy Wallace
Every Monday > 8am
Helping Hands Outreach
Making lunch Saturdays, Outreach every Sunday AM
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"Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." - John 6:68
We've seen John loosely echo significant moments in Israel's history in his gospel. Creation in chapter 1 (in the beginning), Exile from the garden in chapter 2 (driving out the moneychangers), the Passover Exodus in chapter 3 (Nicodemus), more creation references with living water in chapter 4. Healings as signs, testimonies that Jesus is the fullness of the Father in chapter 5. Gathering these clues, we can see the scene John is setting up here in chapter 6. Passover, then miraculous signs leading to a mountain with other leaders with a crowd of people following. John doesn't name the mountain so we're not distracted by geography. He is painting a picture of Sinai with Jesus as a better Moses leading people out of slavery and into relationship with the Father.
Jesus asks a rhetorical question of Phillip in verse 5 with the expectation that he'd know the answer (Mt 14:16). At Sinai, Moses was advised to delegate the needs of the crowd to other leaders. In the stories of the bread and the storm in this chapter, Jesus places an impossible expectation on the disciples. I've written before about this. It seems Jesus is a better Moses releasing a mandate on the
disciples not only to care for the needs of the people and teach them, but to do it in miraculous ways, not by self-sufficiency. The miracles were a sign to Israel that God was with them. Would the disciples see Jesus as Emmanuel, the God who was with them and inviting them to participate with Him in bringing order to the chaos of life? God is near the brokenhearted (Ps 34:18), we should be also.
Bread is used throughout John 6 culminating in Jesus the bread of life. The word bread is used eighteen times! Five loaves suggest the Torah, the bread of the Word of God which was given at Sinai. Two fish make reference to the two tablets of the ten commandments. Jesus provided bread to the 5,000 as a better Elisha who provided bread to 100 (2 Kings 4:42-44). Jesus has people recline on the grass to feed them as God has David lying down in green pastures (Ps 23:2). Jesus walks on the waves as God walks on the waves (Job 9:8, Ps 77:20). There are lots of parallels in this chapter to discover that emphasize John's point: Jesus is the fullness of the Father doing the works of the Father and expects us to do the same.
Continuing in chapter 6 with the bread motif, John takes his story back to the manna in the wilderness (Ex 16) through a discussion. Jesus says, "Do not work for food that spoils" (6:27). The manna was a sign of God's presence releasing Israel from slavery (Exo 16:6), providing for them to show His Presence and faithfulness. Some did not trust God for provision, working to gather enough for the next day only to have it spoil. Jesus is revealing the heart behind the Jews who were following the sign and were only interested in getting their needs met. Then, through references to cannibalism (6:51, 54, 56), he offends the mind to reveal the heart! But in the end, John sums everything up through Peter's response in 6:68-69: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God."
Hebrews 12:18-25 echoes the message of John 6 beautifully. "You have not come to a mountain that can be touched and that is burning with fire; to darkness, gloom and storm; to a trumpet blast or to such a voice speaking words that those who heard it begged that no further word be spoken to them, because they could not bear what was commanded... 22 But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel."
How willing are you to lay down your own understanding or pet theologies and trust that God is good? Jesus is life, provision, community, the living Word... He's all we need. There's nowhere else to go, nothing else to do. Despite not understanding what He says or does at times, we must deeply trust in Him and His love so we can bring His love to a hurting world.
Join me at 1pm Wednesday June 7 on Facebook Live for Immersion and I'll go deeper. I'll also talk about wrestling with the text.
By Kevin Messerschmidt
A personal note: I really wrestled with this devotion. Scholars for centuries have been trying to decipher the deeper primary themes of John 6, and through my study I've been discovering why it's so difficult. It's easy enough to preach from its parts, but the chronology of the gospel is a mess according to our Greek-thinking Western mindset, and there are interpolations (later additions to the text). That alone requires wrestling with God on issues of inspiration, faith and inerrancy. What we perceive as inconsistency or even contradiction does not mean the bible is unreliable.
Textual criticism is scary territory. It's tempting to cave into the critics claiming the bible is full of inconsistencies therefore can't be God's word, but that doesn't take into consideration how the scriptures were received and compiled through human authors via divine providence. The book didn't create God, God created the book to reveal Himself. I believe John pieced together stories for the flow and overall message, not its historical or chronological accuracy. Interpolations appeared later to try to fill in missing pieces. The overall incarnation of "God with us" is the canvas, the stories are the paints and colors, and the Old Testament is the inspiration. And it's more impressionism than realism. Over time, people try to patch what they think are holes or inconsistencies. Somehow, it's all a beautiful God-given whole despite our desire to have all our theological ducks in a row. So here I am humbly offering what I've found that fits the knowledge I've acquired so far. We don't worship the Book. We worship a God who loves us and communicates with us through creative and unique human agents, all with different stories to tell that made it into the Book. If you have any questions about this, feel free to contact me.
I was honored to be able to travel with my family to the beautiful country of Colombia to celebrate the newlyweds of my brother Karl and his wife Marisol. Marisol and my brother were married in New Hampshire 5/29/2022 but not all of Marisol's family could be with us here in the United States. So, in April of this year, they had a beautiful church ceremony held in her home country for her family to meet some of us and share in their matrimony ceremony.
The country and the very people of Colombia are beautiful, and I was able to travel various parts such as Cali as well as the Andes Mountains. Seeing all of Abba's creation in a foreign land with bountiful fruit, coffee and birds
was amazing. He also gave me opportunities to pray and talk with others concerning Christ. It also was an amazing time to be with my aging parents who are about to be 84 this summer. They're still adventurous and living life to the fullest! May I be as healthy as they are at their age when I hit that decade!
Thank you to all who prayed for me while I was away from Kevin and Carrie. They fared well without me as I know they would. I'm so grateful for such a supportive family. It's whetting my appetite for a mission's adventure to South America, Latin America, and Central America. When that time comes, I'll be looking for teams of people to join me! by Natalie Messerschmidt
We had another Kainos gathering for our Kainos friends this past month. We met in North Stonington at Wyassup Lake at the home of Susan Miller. Although the weather was a bit cool and damp we had sweet times of worship, ministry and shared a meal with one another. Community is key in keeping a Kingdom lifestyle approach to life!
There's life and purpose as we encourage each other. There's no small impact when others are walking in the fruit of the Holy Spirit with integrity as each one influences a lost world towards moving closer to Christ. Maybe your mission is your family, your neighbor, your neighborhood, your workplace, or your state. Stop for the one as Jesus did and you will be amazed that He will show up as you remain faithful in demonstrating the gospel by the Holy Spirit's guidance.
We will continue to gather in various communities to spur you on in your walk and purpose as a son and daughter of the Most High God. He has plans for you! Will you take the risk and step out in faith to be His vessel giving Him all the glory and honor? We don't need more programs, systems and platforms. We are the church, and He wants to be known. We don't need to glorify man or make our names known. All glory belongs to God! Will you be a Glory carrier? The time is now and He's inviting you to be part of His Kingdom expansion to reach the world for His glory and honor.
We like to share devotions from others in our community. Here is one from Kathleen Ownbey.
All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles' teaching and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals and a deep sense of awe came over them. Acts 2:42-43
There is a shift in the atmosphere when I pray,
When I invite Jesus to share my day.
There is a shift and a presence,
A peace and a fullness,
All is well with me.
Let me run into Your arms, my Jesus.
Let me play my harp with earnest love.
Let me minister my voice to Thee
With a softness that transcends the skies above.
Oh, Christ my everlasting hope
This branch is very dry.
Come sit with me to share a meal
That I may sip the sweetness of Your vine.
Kathleen Ownbey 3/1/23
The Women's Intensive this month features Arlene Helmig!
Arlene Helmig resides in Laconia, NH with her husband Stu. She has been married for 58 years, has two sons and 5 grandchildren. She's been walking with Lord for over 50 years and has much to share with regards to various life experiences! Come join the Women's Intensive Tuesday June 13th at noon to glean from her insights and wisdom regarding "Surrender".
Surrendering to the Lord and allowing the Holy Spirit to help her overcome the many obstacles in life is her heart's cry. She is a pioneering woman of God who has started businesses in both New York and New Hampshire and was instrumental not only in the marketplace but also in the body of Christ in the Northeast. She and her husband started a church in NY in the 70's, planted a church in Amherst, NH in 1997 and overcame many obstacles as a pioneering apostolic woman within the body of Christ.
Tragedy took a turn for her life in 2001 when her husband was diagnosed with a tumor in his brain stem which was removed but left him paralyzed on one side. He now gets around in a wheelchair unable to walk. Arlene is his primary care giver which is another area of surrender she had to learn from. She found herself in charge of his healing process, running a church and running a business that had to move forward. Taking on a new title as president of this company, pastoring the church and learning the health care system required her to learn the Christian principle of surrender at a whole new level. There were also relational family, work, and church issues that she had to deal with as a woman, mother, and wife that at times brought her to tears. Come learn how she has overcome and continues to do so through the power of surrender and leaning into her awesome God through the power of the Holy Spirit!
Join area churches in the Summer of Hope!
Through Summer of Hope, Urban Alliance will be promoting summer outreach events hosted by churches and organizations in the UA network. Events will be listed on the Summer of Hope website.
If you have an outreach event you would like them to highlight, email information you have about summer events (i.e. children's VBS, food distributions, community events, classes and workshops) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And join us for A Day of Hope on July 29th at Dunkin Donuts Park from 12-4pm! You can download a flyer to promote this event in your church.
Learn more about Summer of Hope and a special prayer and worship event on July 29th at Dunkin Donuts Stadium!
Kainos Prayer Chain:Steve and Angela Tuers are running our prayer chain. If you have a prayer need and want to place it on the prayer chain, please send an email to KLMprayerchain@gmail.com with the subject line: KAINOS PRAYER CHAIN. Please follow up on your requests with praises or updates so the team knows when it's been fully answered!