This past week of ministry at New Durham Chapel was very meaningful and helpful in our service for the kingdom of God. On Sunday morning we commissioned Susan G for her upcoming mission’s trip and by the time you receive this blog, she will likely be in New Mexico serving the Navajo Native Americans there. Sunday evening we had Dave Huizing with us and before he presented a steadfast award to one of our Olympians, we had the privilege of blessing him and Kate by planting a tree in honor of their 25 years plus in partnership in ministry with NDC. That was followed up on Monday with a blood drive for American Red Cross. This blood drive produced 35 pints of blood for which the Red Cross communicated this will help save the lives of at least 100 patients in the weeks and months ahead. As I stated in last week’s blog that giving blood is a very good thing and we have the greatest example of that the Lord Jesus Christ.
In the first chapter of John’s Gospel John, the Baptist presented the Lord Jesus Christ as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. For the blood of the Lamb to be effective, it must be applied to our lives. John the apostle later writes, when he was present at the death of the Lord Jesus, his experience of seeing the shed blood of the sacrificial lamb. He writes, “The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead they did not break his legs. Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus' side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water,” (John 19:32-34 NIV). Jesus shed His blood as the payment for the sins of the world. John gives graphic details of this important information as he was an eyewitness of these events. At the same time that Jesus was shedding His blood, many in the nation of Israel were sacrificing their Passover lambs and applying the blood of those Passover lambs to the doorpost of their homes. Jesus as our Passover lamb is described by Isaiah the prophet when he wrote some seven centuries earlier, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes, we are healed,” (Isaiah 53:4 – 6 NKJV). What an absolutely, amazing thing that God has done for us in the shed blood of Jesus Christ, that saves us from all our sins.
As we have reflected on a positive week of ministry here at NDC, we also look forward to what God will be doing in the weeks that lie ahead. The next 2 Sundays we will be meeting corporately for worship in the back lot of our church. We are trusting God to provide two beautiful days as our worship services will start at 9:15 on both Sundays. Those who have been following the live streaming of our services can continue to follow as the service will be broadcast at 11 o’clock on both July 5 and July 12 at our church’s website. We will be practicing social distancing by parking the cars with an empty spot between each car and having people sit between the cars. If you want to sit in the shade bring a lawn chair and park by the church. There are 10 tables available for families who can sit together during the service. There will be two offering boxes that will be set up, as we won’t be passing an offering plate any longer in our services, but we’ll be having offering boxes available. People can also continue to give online, as many have chosen to do.
Many safety precautions continue to be put into place as we desire not only to meet together but to do so safely and responsibly at this moment of great national calamity. Following the two outdoor services, indoor services will resume on July 19 with two services – the first starting at 9:15 and the second at 11 AM. We trust God who has provided our salvation to guide and direct us, even as we go through this most unusual and trying procedure. We look forward to connecting with one another and trust that if you are not available for these upcoming services that you will certainly join us online. This online ministry has been a really great gift from our heavenly Father for which we are truly grateful. We continue to trust and look to our Lord Jesus Christ with hope and expectation for His ability to work and even the most difficult circumstances.
Walking by Faith,
Pastor Rich Sivo