family

Pentecost

Counting the Omer

Starting on First Fruits, our congregation counts every day for 50 days in preparation for Pentecost. As each day passes, we cross off numbers and celebrate the fact that we are one day closer. “Closer to what?” our children ask, their eyes full of wonder. Excitement grows and anticipation builds. Aren’t countdowns exhilarating? Is that why God instructs us to count? So we can return to the awe and thrill we once experienced as a child?

After many days of counting, the day finally arrives–Pentecost. Pentecost, the day in which the apostles received the gift of the Holy Spirit and human relationship with God completely changed. With the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, access to Yahweh became available to all. His presence is no longer restricted by geographical locations or heritage. But rather, we now carry His presence inside of us.

The Invitation

Pentecost is an invitation. During this season, we are invited to move more deeply into His presence. We are invited to experience His power in new ways.  And, we are invited to step into our call as disciples.

Now for those of you who haven’t been watching The Chosen and need a refresher of what life as a disciple is like, I’ll give you a brief overview. A disciple is called. A disciple trades the life they imagined for themself for the one Jesus has for them. And, a disciple receives access to unending power.

Walking in Power

Stepping out in new power sounds pretty great, right? So how do we start? Simply, by saying yes. And not so simply, saying yes despite uncertainty and fear.

Where excitement grows, so often does tension. And as we anticipate The Lord unveiling new power in our lives, we face the constant reminder that when left to ourselves, we are grossly inefficient for the tasks set before us. We are human. We are frail. And no matter how long we walk with The Lord, we won’t reach perfect completion on this side of eternity.

So praise God that He knows all of our limitations and chooses us anyway. We are not left to ourselves. Instead, we receive the Holy Spirit with the promise that we can return to Him over and over again as we walk into uncharted territory. The Bible is filled with the constant promise that we will never be alone; the Holy Spirit is God in us. Thus, we can celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit with the expectation that what was dry can be refreshed. And where we are weak, we walk with His power.

Invitation to Respond

Pentecost is the yearly invitation to receive new power. Whether you are celebrating your first Pentecost or you have attended 75 Pentecost services, The Lord is inviting you to experience Him in a new way.

Where do you need a refreshing dose of power?  Where is He asking you to say “Yes” where you have before settled into “I am unqualified or “this is impossible?”

We believe that the Lord has new power for you and that He wants to meet with you in this Holy season.

Read more

Call to Worship

If you have ever attended a Sabbath service with us at TwentySixEight, you have probably heard the blowing of a shofar. In Jewish traditions, the shofar (a trumpet made from a ram’s horn) is blown during battles and Biblical holidays. It signifies repentance, power, and calls listeners to attention.

In addition to these major events, we like to blow a shofar each Sabbath as a call to worship. The sound of the trumpet lets us know that something is happening—something wonderful. It is an invitation to once again give our attention to The Lord and usher in His presence.

We are a worshiping congregation who takes seriously the fact that God is enthroned on the praises of His people (Psalm 22:3). In times of abundance, worship is especially easy. It is easy to praise God when we see His glorious works around us.

But what about when glory seems like a distant promise for someone else? What of worship then? Can we really give God glory when our lives seem to be falling apart?

Yes.

The people of the Bible were not immune from troubled times. In fact, book after book describes our ancestors facing seemingly impossible tasks. But throughout the pages, we are shown examples of how to praise God, no matter the circumstances in which we are living.

Habakkuk 3:17 says, “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; He makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.“

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord.”

Hard times are an inevitable part of life on this side of eternity. They come in the form of sickness and disease. Maybe you have lost your income. Or your home. Maybe your struggle with depression or your anxiety seems like a losing battle.

Trials of this life come. But they do not have to rob us of the joy God has for us. Worship is the act of giving your heart. What we worship pinpoints what we give our affections and allegiances to. We worship something by clinging to it.

If worship portrays where our affections and allegiances lie, should our worship ever stop? And shouldn’t we cling tighter to The Lord when all else feels uncertain?

We worship Yahweh because He is good. Psalm 23 reminds us that even in the midst of the valleys of this life, we are never alone. And that where The Lord is, comes overflowing goodness and mercy.

We are a people who raise a hallelujah, knowing that God is in control and that God is good.

While we may not be physically together to hear the shofar blown in our church building­– here is your call to worship. You are invited to cling to Yahweh once again. And why not start with the latest song from Tribes & Tongues? You can listen to it here.

 

Read more

An Ode to Moms

An Ode to Moms (On Mother’s Day)

 

We at TwentySixEight know how much the moms in our community do.

 

You are the nurturers

And the bearers of life.

You make disciples

And endless amounts of cookies.

You are gospel sharers,

Storytellers,

And naptime warriors.

You know how to have fun

And how to clean it all up when the time comes.

You are the giver of great hugs

And the first call with big news.

You are mom.

And we see you.

 

We see the tired moms that are reaching for yet another cup of coffee,

And the homeschooling moms who are patiently going over the lesson one more time.

We see the moms who are always cheering, always encouraging,

And the working moms trying to juggle provision and responsibilities.

We see the moms that are missing their children today,

And the moms who will spend all day with them.

We see you.

You are an irreplaceable part of our community.

 

So for everything you do…

Thank you.

You are cherished.

 

Proverbs 31:25-29:

Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed.

 

May The Lord continue to shine His face upon you on this special day.

Read more