April 2021 Newsletter
from the Desk of the Pastor
In person worship Services continue to be temporarily cancelled. We have no definite re-opening date but it appears it will at least not be until the Summer/Fall of 2021. There will be a meeting to discuss a possible re-opening of the church next month. An update on reopening will be provided in the next newsletter.
For our virtual services, we have incorporated a plan to check the temperature and have a health check form be completed before anyone enters the sanctuary. If you attend a worship service in person please wear a mask while in the sanctuary and please social distance during the service We thank our Holy Light Ushers for their work in providing their services in this area.
Please note that on the Holy Light MBC Facebook account there is a live service at 9:00am every Sunday morning. The recording of the services are on the Holy Light face book page as well as the Holy Light website holylightmbc.org.
Please continue to pray for our members who are dealing currently with illness and health issues. The prayers of the righteous availeth much!
Continue to pray for our nation, state and city and for the hearts of those to change their positions of authority in law enforcement. We also pray for our President-Elect and Vice President-Elect as they ready themselves to take on a big challenge in our nation.
Sunday Service: April 18, 2021
Sunday, May 2, 2021 (10:00am-12:00pm)
Communion will be served as always in the Church Parking Lot Sunday May 2nd from 10:00am to 12:00pm.
Bible Study via Zoom (8 Weeks)
Wednesday, May 19, 26, June 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, July 7, 2021 (7:00pm)
We just finished our 8 week Bible Study/Sunday school on March 21st. We will resume our recurring bible study on Wednesday, May 19th at 7pm. We will cover our weekly Sunday school lesson and also have a weekly discussion from the book “Praying with Purpose”.
Zoom information was sent to you via email. If you haven't received it, please contact Pastor Dandridge.
Church Council Meeting
May 12, 2021 (7:00 pm)
We will have a church council meeting on May 12, 2021 at 7pm. The main discussion will be about church in person service re-opening. The state of California is having a full re-opening date of June 15, 2021. Let’s be prepared to discuss options for the church re-opening. Please contact me concerning any additional agenda items.
We are in the process of making a vendor decision on the replacement of flooring in the church vestibule and fellowship. The work should hopefully begin prior to the summer.
Health & Community
Proverbs 21:15 – When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers
Sunday April 18th
Sermon Subject: What Happened After Midnight
Not an Easy Road
Perhaps it was inevitable that a man who had been zealous against Christ before his conversion would be equally zealous for Christ afterward. Armed with nothing more than the gospel of Jesus, he spearheaded the Christian movement through Turkey into Greece and on to Rome, the capital of the Empire and the greatest city in the world. He was, it seems, a force of nature. A man possessed by one great idea (“this one thing I do”), he proceeded to preach Christ wherever his name had not been preached so that those who had never heard might come to saving faith.
When he mentions being in prison frequently, he perhaps did so with a bit of a wry smile because it was while he and Silas were in prison in Philippi that God worked a wonderful miracle on his behalf. The story told in Acts 16 goes like this. After casting an evil spirit out of a slave girl, Paul and Silas were thrown into prison for what we today would probably call disrupting the peace. The two men were beaten, thrown in jail, put under close guard, and placed in the inner cell with their feet bound in stocks.
So what do you do when you have been arrested, beaten, imprisoned, placed under guard, with your feet bound in stocks, for nothing more than preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ?
If you are Paul and Silas and it’s midnight, you start praying and singing hymns of praise to God. Acts 16:25 says that the other prisoners were listening to them. No doubt these two strangers looked like a mess after being severely beaten. The fact that they were in stocks and under close guard told the other prisoners that Paul and Silas were not ordinary criminals. So I ask again, what do you do at midnight?
Go where you’re sent, Stay where you’re put, Give what you’ve got.
I. Go Where You’re Sent.
There was nothing easy about being accused of disturbing the peace, being publicly disgraced, derided, maligned and vilified. Nor was it pleasant to be beaten or thrown in prison alongside men who were truly criminals. Certainly having your legs in stocks not only meant you could hardly move, it also meant you would have great difficulty lying down. So what do you do in that situation?
It all depends on your theology. If you don’t believe in the sovereignty of God, then you’ll probably be bitter and angry and very discouraged. If you don’t believe in a God who numbers the hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30), then you may think that something terrible has happened to you. But if you believe in the sovereignty of God, then you know that nothing can happen to you by accident. In that case, your reaction is likely to be quite different.
You pray and sing hymns at midnight.
II. Stay Where You’re Put.
That just means that you go and serve the Lord wherever you happen to be, even though it may not have been your first choice. That’s why Paul and Silas were singing at midnight. They knew that God had sent them to the jail to bear witness for their faith. As Paul and Silas sang and the prisoners listened, they had no idea of the earthquake that was about to set them free (vv. 26-28). Nor did they know that soon they would lead the Philippian jailer and his whole family to the Lord (vv. 29-34). That was all hidden to them. As far as they knew, they would stay in prison a few days or a few weeks or a few months, and then they would go on trial. After that, no one could say what might happen.
III. Give What You’ve Got.
Evidently Paul and Silas weren’t trying to be quiet in the jail. Evidently they prayed and sang loud enough that a crowd of prisoners listened to them, amazed that two men in stocks, having been beaten and roughed up, no doubt a sight to behold, would seem so cheerful and full of faith. In jail!. At Midnight!
When God calls, we can always find excuses to make: “Not me, Lord.” “Go ask someone else.” “I’m busy.” “I’m happy right where I am.” For all of us, the issue is not our personal desires but our response when the call comes. In the truly tough stuff of life, we rarely get a choice in advance, which is probably a good idea because if we did, we would be sorely tempted to run the other direction. But it is in moments like this that we discover our theology.
I wonder what Paul and Silas prayed at midnight? I wonder if it was something like what Paul wrote several years later in 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17.
Lord, you are so good. Your mercies endure forever. We thank you that you know what you are doing in every situation. We are glad about that because many times we are clueless. We rest our weary souls on you, the Rock of Our Salvation.
Give us confidence to believe that the God who started a good work in us will bring it to completion, and even today is bringing it to completion. Grant us grace to say “Here I am” when you call us to bear witness at midnight. Help us to stand fast, never moved, trusting in you, now and forevermore, until the day comes when we see Jesus face to face. Amen.