Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
This final update for August is going to highlight some truths that affected me deeply when I was a college student. In the book, “The Call”, by Os Guinness, he writes a chapter called “Patches of Godlight” which is a reference to a quote from C.S. Lewis’ work, “The Weight of Glory.” Throughout the summer, the Empower group has been talking about calling, and listening to the call of God – which is so decisive “that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out in response to his summons and service” (p. 29).
So, in the chapter titled “Patches of Godlight”, Guinness explains that “calling transforms life so that the commonplace and menial are invested with the splendor of the ordinary” (p. 196). We normally act in our day for instrumental reasons – considering if it is valuable to us. But because we’ve been called by God, we can do things for their intrinsic importance – considering that it the action is valuable in itself because God has called us to do it. So drudgery is lifted and changed. That’s why Hudson Taylor could teach: “A little thing is a little thing, but faithfulness in a little thing is a big thing.” (p. 197). As Christians, we understand that there is no work too hard or too homely (humbling) for the follower of Christ because we understand that no work can be too humbling if we do it for God.
This reality of calling, that it invests things with the splendor of the ordinary, is also seen in that calling transforms things by focusing our attention, under God, on things as they are. Many religions are world denying. But Christians have a dual vision – where we understand the world was made good, inalienably so, even if it has been marred by sin. So, our work is transformed: “Work shall be such as a man may do with his whole heart, and that he shall do it for the very work’s sake.” (p. 200). The Christian view of things comes back to the rootedness and intrinsic worth of things as they are – having been created by God.
Finally, understanding that calling transforms the ordinary, we are reminded that drudgery is part of the cost of discipleship. The disciples may have seen miracle after miracle when walking with Jesus, but they spent most of their time walking with Jesus mile after mile. For whatever reason, we have this sense that we have to do exceptional things for God. I notice that tendency in my own heart. But Oswald Chambers provides a corrective: “We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in the mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes.” Guinness concludes “Before the eventual ‘well done,’ our task today is to do well – by loving people, things, and work for their sake and [Gods]” (p. 202).
Understanding this truth of calling is like a philosopher’s stone which turns everything it touches into gold. When we see things for their intrinsic worth, we can do that thing, even if we aren’t the best at it. When we persist in drudgery for the glory of God, we do so gladly because we do so for our great and gracious God – whose beauty, goodness, and power shine forth in his creation, even if it is marred by sin. We can pursue excellence in the ordinary, and faithfulness in the little things, so that one day we will hear the words “Well done.”
Please continue to pray for the nation of Ukraine. Here is a suggested list of prayers if you are at a loss for words in how to pray: https://send.org/story/hh_pray_for_ukraine. Thank you for kneeling on behalf of the people of Ukraine and Russia, and taking a stand (or a knee in prayer) against the forces of darkness in this present age.
This Week (Aug. 26-Sept. 2, 2022):
1. Tonight, Aug. 26, 2022, Friday Night Bible Study is meeting from 7:30-9:30 to sing, share, and begin a study in the book of 1 Peter. You can read 1 Peter (Particularly 1 Peter 4:12-19) in preparation. Join in person in Room A-216 or online.
Meeting ID: 685 376 249
Join by phone: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
2. CrossPoint Community is having a Summer BBQ on Saturday, August 27, from 3 pm to 7 pm. The purpose is to share life and enjoy the ordinary of good food, Christian community and fun times together. Dinner starts at 5 pm. If you haven’t yet, you can sign up here.
3. CrossPoint Community Sunday School and YAs Sunday School is on Aug. 28.
a. The Young Adults and Empower will be meeting at 9:45 am (in-person in Room A-202)! Activities will be led by a collaboration between YA and College Students. Info is found on the YAs Messenger Chat Channel or the Empower Messenger chat.
b. “Life is a Journey” Sunday School is this Sunday at 9:45 in-person (Room A-216) and online via the following link:
Meeting ID: 491 248 585
Join by phone: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
4. This Sunday, August 28, 2022, at 11:25 am, Pastor Nathan Willems will be preaching. Pray for him! Join us for worship at CBCGL! You can also watch the live stream if you wish.
a. Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15
b. Title: Others over us and among us
c. Live stream via Youtube: https://www.cbcgl.org/live-stream/
5. Each Wednesday, for example, this coming Aug. 31, 2022, at 7:45 pm, you are invited, encouraged, and requested to join our weekly prayer meeting. We’ll spend time praying for Taiwan and Ukraine as well as praying for CrossPoint Community. The link is found below in the section on prayer.
Administration / Events
1. CBCGL’s COVID-19 guidance has been updated. We still are following CDC guidance for travel and participation in activities following travel or exposure to a positive case. We are no longer requiring new guests to complete the waiver form.
a. Also, the taskforce has notified all ministries that we will no longer be taking temperatures but are once again recommending face masks. Please note, you are once again recommended to wear facemasks to church.
2. Lunch service on Sundays is suspended for the summer at CBCGL. See you in September when lunch prices will be $5 per lunchbox!
3. We have a missions update! This week, we have an update from the Cheng Family, who serve in Japan, and are working on language acquisition so they can help plant churches with indigenous leaders. Please check the missions tab in our bulletin to read through these reports and learn how you can support our missionaries.
4. All other announcements can be found here (in our CrossPoint Community bulletin).
1. Our time in prayer shows what we think about God! Do you see your need of Him? Or are you trying to live this life without / apart from Him? Please join our Wednesday night prayer meeting (7:45 – 9:15 pm) even if you can’t participate the whole time.
Meeting ID: 758 587 937
Join by phone: +1 929 436 2866 US (New York)
2. Here is our list of prayer and service requests. The service request tab is for brothers and sisters to ask for assistance or announce any give-away items. It is an attempt from CPC to reach out and take care of those in need among us. You may also enter yours via the provided link:
You can also do so via the following link: https://www.cbcgl.org/pray/
In Christ, your servant, SDG,
Rev. Dr. Nathan Willems
Associate Pastor of CrossPoint Community – A Ministry of CBCGL