The Hope to Which You Are Called

The Hope to Which You Are Called

This coming Sunday we will be gathering at Temple of Israel (1 S. 4th Street – downtown Wilmington) at 9am.  We will be focusing on Ephesians 1.15-23.  In this passage we find our calling.  A calling to a hope that is bigger then us and our circumstances.  This is a calling to be the child of God that God knows and cares about.  It is to be the one who has hope in the God who calls us his own.  You all are invited to come and worship with us as we learn about the hope to which we are...
God’s Grace Freely Bestowed On Us

God’s Grace Freely Bestowed On Us

This coming Sunday we will be gathering for worship at 9am at Temple of Israel (1 S. 4th Street).  We will be focusing on Ephesians 1.3-14.  In this passage we learn that God has marked us with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit (v13).  This seal is the imprint of the holy one has bestowed upon us grace.  We now can give praise and glory for this most amazing grace.  God’s goodness is made manifest to us in Christ and now we respond by living a life dedicated to Christ.  I encourage you to come and journey with us through the book of Ephesians by reading in advance every...
Reflection

Reflection

What a week!  I am both exhausted and riding on a cloud.  God has been so good and I am so thankful that we were able to help people to get out of the cold for 8 days.  It was an amazing task and I am so grateful for the support, encouragement, generosity, and relationships from people all over Wilmington.  This was truly a community endeavor and it has revealed the heart of such a terrific city. One thing that I have been reflecting on was how much we were like family over the last 8 days.  Sometimes we got on each other’s nerves, we cried together, we laughed together, we watched football together, we prayed together, and we ate together (boy did we eat).  People from all over the community would come and hangout with all of us.  We had a karaoke night, card games, dancing, and a lot of fun.  While at the same time there were disappointments, like people that would leave to go out into the cold because they just couldn’t be around so many people (because there were a lot of people). As I have been thinking about family, I am reflecting about how one night it felt like heaven and earth kissed.  On the night that we had karaoke we had someone that got up and sang a song called “Tennessee Whiskey”.  While he was singing (and he was really getting into it), a woman in her 50’s started dancing with a guy who was in his late 20’s and it was amazing!  It was that moment where I saw family.  It was...
Holy and blameless before God in love

Holy and blameless before God in love

This coming Sunday we will be gathering for worship at 9am at Temple of Israel (1 S. 4th Street – downtown Wilmington).  We will be focusing our time on Ephesians 1.1-4.  We are beginning our study of the book of Ephesians.  We will be sticking with this letter for the next four months.  Here at the beginning of the Apostle Paul’s letter we learn that God is the one who does the choosing of us —– rather then us choosing God.  But this choosing by the Lord is not so that we are guaranteed a place in heaven, instead it is so that we will live holy and blameless before God in love.  This love is found in Jesus Christ, for it is a love that is self-giving and self-sacrificial.  This love is our calling for God’s grace has beckoned us to be about the work of participating with the Holy Spirit.  We would encourage all of you to read through Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus with us.  This will be our chance to see what the Lord has to say to us and respond by living holy and blameless...
Luke 2.22-40

Luke 2.22-40

This coming Sunday we will be gathering for worship at 9am at Temple of Israel (1 S. 4th Street – downtown Wilmington).  We will be focusing our time on Luke 2.22-40.  In this passage Mary & Joseph presented the baby Jesus at the temple.  Upon the arrival of the holy family Simeon and Anna both have revelations from the Holy Spirit about who this child is.  This amazed Mary & Joseph.  This child changes things and changes us.  As we come to 2018 may we remember that we are to be new and let us continue to dedicate ourselves to God and promise to follow after Jesus.  We will be having our Covenant Renewal service tomorrow.  This gives us time to make certain promises to God ——- while at the same time God makes promises to us.  All are invited to come and grow in our commitment to God and our commitment to each...
Luke 1.26-38

Luke 1.26-38

This coming Sunday we will be gathering for worship at 9am at Temple of Israel (1 S. 4th Street).  We will be focusing our time on Luke 1.26-38.  In this passage the angel Gabriel comes to Mary to announce that she will become pregnant with child.  This announcement is received by Mary with these words: “Let it be with me according to your word.”  Mary receives these words by faith. What an amazing response — a response that must have come out of Mary’s mouth before she knew it — but it was a response that changed history. Let’s all gather together tomorrow and respond with faith.  A faith that can change the scope of...
The Kingdom of God Has Come Near

The Kingdom of God Has Come Near

This coming Sunday we will be gathering for worship at 9am at Temple of Israel (1 S. 4th Street – downtown Wilmington).  We will be wrapping up our time in Luke 10.1-12.  In this passage Jesus commissions his disciples to go ahead of him to towns & villages he intended to go —— and they were to go bearing a message.  This message was for those who welcomed the disciples and those who did not welcome his disciples.  It was a message that they shared straight from the master’s mouth: “the kingdom of God has come near to you.”  This was embodied in the disciples and their words were effective and invasive.  It is worth noting that if the townspeople did not welcome the disciples, then the disciples also said the above words, but now it was a word of rebuke and damnation (Luke 10.11-12).  Let us gather together and celebrate the kingdom of God coming near as we gaze upon the manger...
Eschatology

Eschatology

This coming Sunday we will be gathering for worship at Temple of Israel (1 S. 4th Street – downtown Wilmington) at 9am.  We will be focusing our time on Luke 10.1-12.  In this passage Jesus explains to his disciples that if they are not welcomed in the towns that he commissions them to go, then judgment will come upon them.  Actually, the judgment that will come upon them will be worse then what happened to Sodom (Genesis 19.24-26).  It is worth noting how important welcome is in our understanding of Christ’s call to be a city of welcome here in Wilmington.  This has an eschatological significance, for Jesus says that we will be judged for not being a city of welcome.  There will be a judgment and we will be judged for being a city of welcome.  Let’s gather together and learn more about what it means to be a people of...
Sharing Food

Sharing Food

I believe in sharing food – I am even willing to get arrested for it.  As I have been reading closely Luke 10.1-12, I have become more and more convinced that our calling in this city is to be the townspeople that welcome those whom God has sent.  This notion that we are to welcome people and share food with them is radical, for we live in a culture of scarcity, and this action is one that is of exuberant abundance. In Luke 10.1-12 – we see that the townspeople welcome the disciples as people of peace – and then in verse 7 Jesus instructs to “Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid.” This welcome we are called to extend to those who are coming to our city is to be a welcome that involves table fellowship. It involves the sitting down and enjoying one another over a bowl of soup, a cup of coffee, and a juicy hamburger. It involves pausing and allowing the nourishment to be enjoyed and the conversation to flourish. It involves us allowing food to be a vehicle of welcome and not something we horde for ourselves. Because this food is “our daily bread”. It is not my daily bread – or your daily bread – but it is our daily bread. For in this pronouncement we can notice that this is a communal meal – for it is a meal of welcome and not a meal of isolation. Continuing to verse 8 Jesus says: “Whenever you enter a town and its people...
The Choice To Be the People of Peace – Healing

The Choice To Be the People of Peace – Healing

This coming Sunday we will be gathering for worship at Temple of Israel at 9am.  We will be focusing our time on Luke 10.1-12.  In this passage we learn that the townspeople were the recipients of healing from the disciples.  Jesus had commissioned his disciples to go to the towns that he was planning on going to.  They were commissioned to go and heal those who were sick.  We at The Anchor are called to be a people of welcome ——- just like the townspeople that received the disciples.  In that welcome, we are the beneficiaries of the miraculous healing that Christ instructed his disciples to perform.  Let’s gathering and receive the healing that Jesus offers...