September 16, 2014 | Register |
Welcome to Emmanuel Presbyterian Church

This Week at Emmanuel


(September 15)

Sunday Worship

"The Cataclysmic Work", Acts 2:1-13
September 21st at 10:00 a.m., Dave Rohrer, Pastor
This Week's Order of Worship

Sunday Morning Book Discussion

Coming this fall we'll be having a Sunday Morning Book Discussion of  the book, "Life of the Beloved" by Henri Nouwen.  This great spiritual writer wonderfully articulates and affirms to us that Christ calls us His own.  It is an encouraging and uplifting book.  The group will meet at 8:30 on Sunday mornings beginning September 14th.  If you are interested in this class, contact the church office for further information.



Upcoming Events

Emmanuel Drop In Center

On Saturday October 4th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM we will initiate a new monthly ministry to the homeless and underserved of our community.  On the first Saturday of each month the church will be open for folks who need to use laundry and shower facilities.  We will also be offering a snack bag consisting of such items as juice, fruit, and granola bars.  We need your help.  You can contribute such things as individual/travel sized toiletries, detergent for a front loading washing machine, brown paper bags, juice packs and granola bars.  Look for a donation box in the narthex.  We also need folks who want to be present on Saturdays or are willing to be involved in preparation and clean up.
For further information please contact the church office.  



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Monthly Message from Pastor Dave

September, 2014

One of the down sides of modern translations of the Bible is that we lose some of the poetry of the King James Bible. There are many gains in modern translations, but we also lose some beautiful words from Elizabethan English that we deem archaic. One of those words I miss in modern translations is the imperative: Behold.

Every time I read the Christmas story in the Gospels or prophetic passages from Isaiah 40-55 and come to the NRSV’s replacement for the word Behold, I cringe a bit. In place of Behold, the NRSV uses the relatively bland command “Look!” While Behold has a ring of urgency to it, Look connotes an ignorable suggestion. I Behold the glory of God; I Look at the billboard.

I suppose this wouldn’t bother me as much if Behold weren’t such an oft used and important word in the Bible. In fact I would go so far as to say it is among the most important commands that God gives us. When all is said and done, one of the most important activities of discipleship is to pay attention: to sit up and take notice of, to Behold, the presence and work of God. God tells us over and over again that he isn’t hiding but with us. We needn’t go looking for him or waste our time trying to hide from him, because he is in our midst. Thus for our part discipleship is first and foremost about noticing God’s presence.

It’s amazing to me how much time we waste trying to find the God who is tapping us on the shoulder and simply asking us to turn around. We assume God’s absence and therefore miss the signs of his presence. We go in search of the God of our projections and experience him as distant and elusive. This is the great irony of religion. We deploy a system of rules and rituals to connect with God and in our act of pursuing and trying to impress God, we actually end up running away from the God who was standing right next to us the whole time.

There is a corrective to all of this religious activity that leads nowhere. It is to give more of our time and energy to the work of Beholding, the work of paying attention, the work of noticing the presence and activity of the one who calls himself Emmanuel, God with us. The corrective is to begin with the assumption of his presence and then to ask him a question: How are you at work here, Lord; and how are you inviting me to be a part of that work?

As individual disciples and together as a congregation we live out our lives in a world where God is at work. We don’t need to ask him to do stuff as much as we need to look for the ways he is already at work. There is great freedom in this truth. It is the freedom of knowing that the faith journey is not about attempting to figure out the mysterious ways of a distant God and then falling into line with what we think he wants. The faith journey is fueled when we Behold the Lord and answer his invitation to join him in that work that is already in progress.

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Sunday Worship 10 AM

19540 104th Ave. N.E.
Bothell, WA 98011

425-486-6388

Map/Directions

emmanuelpc@epcbothell.org

Rev. David Rohrer, Pastor

daver@epcbothell.org

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