RECAP: WALKING IN JESUS’ STEPS–based on Acts 3:1-10
In Judaism, there was a common saying of disciples: they walked in the dust of the rabbi. Literally, the saying comes from the understanding that a disciple would follow the rabbi everywhere they went, following so closely that literally the dirt the rabbi kicked off the dusty road would fly in the face of the disciple. If the disciple was a good disciple, they would know all of the likes/dislikes of the rabbi, but also their teaching (halakah) and manner of living (derek).
For three years, twelve disciples followed Jesus. They experienced his teaching and living. Yet when they were empowered by their master, they failed continuously. But one day, that all changed. After Jesus ascended into heaven and after the day of Pentecost, the disciples finally got it and walked in Jesus’ steps.
There was a beggar who sat at the temple gate Beautiful day after day. He longed to enter the temple courts, but could not do so because of his condition. In that day, being crippled was a “curse” believed to be the result of either the sin of the parents or the individual. And that sin meant that the individual was unclean and unable to enter. It was bad enough to be crippled, but even worse to be excluded by the community. How did the disciples show they walked in Jesus’ steps? And how could we do the same?
1) Know the master and the message. The disciples knew Jesus; they knew his teaching and his ways. They saw Jesus embody a message that the kingdom of God was made available to all, and that God’s plan was to bring redemption and wholeness to all humanity. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. Jesus came to bring recovery of sight to the blind, to recover hearing for the deaf, to cause the lame to walk again and set the captive free. Jesus came to show God’s grace, which leads humanity to repentance and a changed life. This beggar was crippled–just the type of person Jesus would interact with!
Do we know Jesus well? Who would he touch in our day? Who needs redemption & wholeness? Can we identify it?
2) See with his eyes and feel with his heart. When Jesus saw the broken, he was filled with compassion. He saw and felt the brokenness needing to be restored. So when Jesus saw an individual, he did not see the outside only, but also what was on the inside. This beggar was positioned outside the temple gate. Why there? Because he longed to go in and be a part of the community of faith! The disciples saw the man, was filled with compassion and instantly knew what Jesus would have done for him.
When we see people, do we see the true need, or only what is on the surface? How does Jesus see people? What would be in his heart for them?
3) Take the risk–be unafraid. Jesus did the right thing no matter the consequence. He knew God had anointed him to bring “good news,” even when it looked like a complete risk! Likewise, the disciples were willing to take the risk, for Jesus’ reputation was at stake. Sure, it would have looked foolish if they had fallen flat on their face again like they had before. But they knew what Jesus would have wanted and believed that since they were carrying out the same mission, God would honor their request. They took a chance and extended him an offer of healing.
Are we willing to take risks? Do we believe the message and heart of Jesus to take a chance and bring an offer of wholeness? Or are we concerned about being made foolish?
4) Bring others to Jesus. Jesus came to reconcile people back to God. The disciples in turn brought people to Jesus. After extending healing, they then went with the beggar into the temple, who was walking and leaping and praising God. He now was made “whole” and able to join the community of faith. Then the disciples preached a message to the amazed onlookers, leading 2000 others to Jesus!
People need Jesus. Are we, in our living and speaking, bringing others to meet Jesus?
5) Embrace the ordinary. Jesus chose twelve ordinary people. And that is in part why the early church grew. If Jesus could use twelve ordinary folk who were prone to fail and transform them into champions of faith, what can he do in us? Unlike our world’s paradigm, which says we can only change the world if we have power, position, prestige, etc., we can change the world if we simply have Jesus.
Are we willing to be used by him?
Questions for reflection
1) What teaching of Jesus has impacted you the most in your life? Why?
2) What is your first instinct when you encounter a stranger?
3) Why is it difficult to find courage to share the gospel?
4) Why is it difficult to believe that God could use us? How does our world’s paradigm of power influence that?
Pastor Ryan will continue to Acts church series with the sermon titled, “Meeting the Needs,” based upon Acts 4:32-37. The early church showed radical unity when it came to generosity. How can we meet the needs in our day? Come or tune in Sunday to find out!
Daily Bible Readings for June 16 – 22
June 16: Acts 9:32-43 How did Peter walk in Jesus’ steps?
June 17: Acts 16:16-18 How did Paul walk in Jesus’ steps?
June 18: Acts 20:7-12 How did Paul walk in Jesus’ steps?
June 19: Philippians 3:7-14 How did Paul want to become more like Jesus?
June 20: 1 Peter 2:13-25 In what ways can a Christian follow in Jesus’ steps?
June 21: Psalm 133 What are the blessings of unity?
June 22: John 13:34-35 How does unity shape our witness?
Call for Worship Leaders and Children’s Story
As we look at the ability to reopen in the coming weeks, we are in need of both worship leaders and children’s story. We are looking for one person each week, rather than a month at a time. If you would like to serve, contact Alice Over (worship leading) or Tammy Stine (children’s story). We have worship leading for July covered, but will need August going forward, and we still need children’s story for July.
Bible Study continues tomorrow at 7 pm. The Zoom link is available from Pastor Ryan. We will be covering the parable of the Unjust Judge (Luke 18:1-8) and Pharisee and Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-14).
We will have Bible Study next week, but will take one week off (July 1) due to other scheduling conflicts.
Before church closed for COVID, we had begun to announce a baptism and membership class (for transfer of membership). So for we have two that have expressed interest. If you are interested in either, or even if you recently became a member without the class and would like more of what it means to be a member of Beaver Creek, please let Pastor Ryan or Tess know you would like to take the class. Once there is enough interest, more specifics will be shared at that time. We really would like to get a class started by the middle of July, so please let us know soon!
Brethren Woods is closed to traditional summer camp this year, but there are other ways to enjoy camp! Family Camp registration is open for those family units who want to spend a few days together. The cost is $35 per day per adult, $30 per child over 11, and $27.50 per child under 11. The minimum stay is two evenings. More information can be found here: https://brethrenwoods.org/familycamp/.
Also, there will be a hybrid camp/VBS program beginning June 7th called Watz in the Woods. This is available for all children and youth. Registration can be found here: https://brethrenwoods.org/dsc/. The cost is free (suggested donation of $75).
The Leadership Team has decided to make the following commitment toward camp:
1) If any family desires to register for Family Camp this summer, the church will cover 50% of the cost through the Camp Scholarship line item in our budget. All you will need to do at registration is say that you are from Beaver Creek.
Heather, the girls, and I will be going after church on Sunday, June 28 – Wednesday, July 1.
2) The church will make a donation to camp for every child or youth who signs up for Watz in the Woods alternative camp/VBS from the VBS budget line item, since our traditional VBS was canceled in light of COVID. Again, you would just need to say you are from Beaver Creek. This unique program is for all children & youth from ages 4 through 19!
Once COVID restrictions continue to loosen, the Outreach Team had approved to allow Beaver Creek to be a host site for a babysitting training class for teenagers. When a teen completes the class, they would be officially certified to babysit anywhere in the commonwealth. The cost is $95.
Again, due to COVID, we do not yet have a date. But they want to know if there are truly enough interested teens to take the class before they commit the date. If you are interested, either let Pastor Ryan or Tess know, so we can get your teen on the list.
Call to Prayer
As we know, right now has been a time of unrest in our land. Our nation needs healing! Let us take five minutes every day to pray for our country. Let us also take five minutes to pray for the wisdom of our local and state officials as they make decisions based upon the COVID crisis.
Graduate Recognition Sunday
Because of the initial restrictions when we return together, the Christian Education team decided to postpone Graduate Recognition Sunday into July so we can still do it the Beaver Creek way. The date is July 12. If you have a graduate that would like to be recognized, please let Tess know in the office so that CE will know how many gifts to order.
Five Ways to Give! With the extended closure, this is greatly necessary.
1) Direct Deposit–form available on the website
2) Mail your tithe into the church office
3) Drop it by church office on Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, 9 am – 1 pm
4) New online giving platform: https://beavercreekchurchva.churchcenter.com/giving
5) Drop off in the offering plate at main entrance as you enter for church
Continue to Keep in Prayer:
Prayers for our Congregation–pray for those who have been unable to visit or spend time with family, those who have lost their jobs or seen furloughs, for those who have been discouraged, and those in our nursing homes, who have not been able to have any physical contact since early March.
Tami Plaugher (health)
Dan Rhodes & family (Liz’ passing)
Grayson Whitmore (recovery)
Tom Wilfong (recovery)
Carolyn Wine (health)
Charles Wright (health)
Dennis Wright family (Denny’s passing)
I hope to restore regular visitation in the near future as we see the full effects of phase two.
Pastor Ryan Cooper
Beaver Creek COB