This is our Christ the King service, when we celebrate that Christ is Lord over life and death. We will bring photos of loved ones who have passed away to remember that they are not gone, but are cared for in Christ's arms.
The Mysterium Musicum choir will sing in this service.
HOMELESS MINISTRY OUTREACH: 25 November
The EM Homeless Ministry team will hold their next outreach activity today. We will visit and provide food to homeless people around the church and at Taipei Main Station. Join us today at 1:30 pm in Room 702 to prepare. For further information, contact the Homeless Ministry leader Amity at email@example.com or 0987095278.
CHRISTMAS HANDICRAFTS: 25 November
Making Christmas Handicrafts and Decorations. Come make beautiful decorations to fill our homes with the Christmas spirit. Free event! 25 November Sunday, 12:45–2:45 pm at 7F cafe, SLPC.
GINGERBREAD HOUSE DECORATING: 2 December
12:45-2:30pm: Build and decorate delicious gingerbread houses, and enjoy the sweetness and fun of Christmas. Cost: 250 NT/gingerbread house. 7F cafe, SLPC. To register for this event, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CHRISTMAS COOKING CLASS WITH JOHANNA DIPPENAAR : 9 December
12:45-2:30pm: Christmas Cooking Class with Johanna Dippenaar, author of “Theology in the Kitchen (聖經餐桌小旅行)”. Making sweet and healthy Christmas pralines with dried fruit and nuts. Free event! 7F cafe, SLPC.
TEACHING AT-RISK YOUTH
The At-Risk Youth Center in Beitou is seeking volunteer English tutors to give occasional support to their high school students (possibly on Saturday afternoons). If you can help with this special outreach, please contact Susie Hong at: M3susie@gmail.com
SNACK SERVICE VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
We are looking for friendly volunteers who can help serve at our snack table after service on Sundays. Can you make coffee and tea, and help serve people after Sunday service? If so, come speak to our secretary Yvette for further information.
EM ENGLISH KIDS' CLUB!
The EM English Kids' Club is for kids from 0–11 years old. It's a fun time when kids can get together to sing songs, play together, and learn about God. Join us from 11:00–12:00 every Sunday in the 7F Kids’ Room. Please send your child’s name and age to Yvette at email@example.com
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Bible Verse for the Week
"O Lord, if you heal me, I will be truly healed; if you save me,
I will be truly saved. My praises are for you alone!"
Sometimes one of the hardest things about being a parent is not giving our children the things they want. Because we love our children, we want them to be happy. But sometimes the things that little children want just aren’t good for them. They want to eat junk food, they want to touch the hot stove, they want to run across the road by themselves. When we parents say no, kids cry and get angry and even think we hate them. They don’t understand that we are doing what’s best for them.
In Psalm 74 we see a similar situation with the Israelites. The Israelites had wanted to build a temple in Jerusalem, even though in the Old Testament God had repeatedly told them he didn’t want it. Now Israel’s enemies had come and destroyed Jerusalem and destroyed the temple too, and the Israelites are shocked, saddened, and horrified at this result. What’s worse is that they just don’t understand why God didn’t do more to help protect the temple. Verses 12–17 describe God’s incredible power over the whole universe. The writer’s feeling is that surely a God who can rule over all creation can protect one small city and one small temple. So why didn’t God do it? In Psalm 72 the Israelites send up this prayer of lament, angrily accusing God of disappointing them and allowing their enemies to win, and accusing God of not using his divine powers to protect Jerusalem or save the temple.
We can understand their frustration and their anger. But maybe the lesson here is that God always knew that having a temple was not the right way for his people to go. And so, like a loving parent, he says “no” and takes it away from them. In the history of Israel, God says “no” to the people when they want a temple, but they build it anyway – and then they watch it get destroyed. Without learning this lesson they build the temple a second time – and then watch it get destroyed too! In Jesus, God himself even directly condemns the temple and announces in Mark 13:2 that not one stone of the temple will be left on top of another. God’s children may have wanted this terrible temple, but God the Father knows that the temple is not what’s best for them.
In our lives, we too have so many things that our hearts want. So we bring them in prayer to God. But then we get confused, depressed, and even angry when God says “no” to us. When that happens, maybe we too need to stop and ask ourselves: Could it possibly be that the thing we want really isn’t right for us? Could it be that God knows something we don’t know? Could it be that God wants to lead us in a different, better direction? These are hard questions to answer. But what is certain is that sometimes God truly does love us and bless us by not giving us the things we want.
With blessings for the week ahead,
Pastor Stephen Lakkis