“HIGH FIDELITY”: EM YOUTH GROUP
The EM has a fun new group for young people aged 12+. High Fidelity meets Sunday mornings 10–11 a.m. for breakfast, games, Bible study, and music sharing. Sign up by sending your details to Yvette at firstname.lastname@example.org
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
CARE CELL NEWS
Join a mid-week Care Cell to study the Bible and share time together!
SPIRITUAL GUIDANCE COURSES
Do you want your faith to grow and develop? Deacon Amos Lu is offering a range of 1-on-1 courses in spiritual direction and guidance. Courses normally run from 5 to 8 weeks, and can be planned to suit you. These courses are free! For more details, email Amos directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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Bible Verse for the Week
1 John 3:8b
“The Son of God was revealed for this purpose:
to destroy the works of the devil.”
The Hebrew slaves in Egypt knew what it was like to be oppressed through work. Under the harsh rule of their masters they were abused, forced to work long hours every day, used up, and then thrown aside when they couldn’t work anymore. But through Moses, God miraculously saved the Hebrews from this life of abuse and slavery. Now, living as liberated people, Moses gives them a new law: They are not going to work every day anymore. Instead from now on they will set aside one day each week, the Sabbath, to rest and remember that life is more than just work.
In principle it sounds great. But in practice this was hard for many of the Hebrews to do. In Egypt they had become used to hard work – they had become used to a life of constant work, stress, and fear. So even though God had now set them free and even demanded they rest, many still couldn’t do it. In the wilderness God himself cared for the people giving them free food every day. The only condition was that they shouldn’t go collect that food on the Sabbath. Instead they should remember to use the Sabbath to rest. But still many couldn’t do this. They couldn’t let go; they couldn’t rest (vv. 27–29).
It’s not hard to understand why they had this problem. In this world we are taught every day that we have to depend on ourselves, because no one else will care for us. And through experience we have learnt not to depend on others – because when we reach out to others for help they often ignore us or let us down. So we find it so hard to trust.
The Hebrews struggled to let go of work and instead trust that God would be there to support them. But isn’t that our problem too? Don’t we also find it hard to trust God, hard to trust that he will really support us or be here for us? As a result we try hard to trust in our own hands rather than learning to trust in God’s hands to hold us up. But to trust in ourselves is to make ourselves slaves again: slaves to worry, slaves to our many fears about not being good enough, and slaves to work.
Because we can’t see God, it is hard for us to trust him. We need to learn again how to trust. But how do we do that? One way is by using our hands to hold each other up. Because when we learn to trust those around us, when we can feel others caring for us and holding us up, it then becomes a little easier for us to take those first steps towards learning how to trust God again.
With blessings for the week ahead,
Pastor Stephen Lakkis