by Lance Olimb
I’m getting more and more comfortable in the south. The non-winter we experienced is a beautiful thing. I was even somewhat prepared for the great pollen assault of 2015 (more Claritin)! The other day I reveled in the glories of 4 Rivers BBQ and excitedly scarfed some tasty corn bread. Made me feel like a real man of Dixie.
Anyway, all these southern cliches and stereotypes got me thinking about that ubiquitous and decidedly southern phrase, "bless his heart." Oh, bless his heart. As in, that person is foolish and quite naïve to act or think in such a way. Bless his heart. The Apostle Paul reminds us that Easter rescues us from the biggest "bless his heart" in the universe. You remember the text, right? Here is it:
If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. -1 Corinthians 15:19 (ESV)
If the resurrection is not true, we are most surely to be pitied. Bless our hearts. Like a shy ninth grader asking the varsity cheerleader to prom. Like a little boy fishing in the creek behind his house to catch a whale. Bless their hearts. Apart from Jesus walking out of the grave, that is who we are.
But, of course, Jesus did walk from the grave and it was attested to by more than 500 witnesses. He ascended in order to send the Spirit, who would bear witness with our Spirits that we are sons and daughters of God. He sits as a perfect mediator on our behalf, bending the ear of the Father by His merit, for our good. He promises to come again and set all things right. These are the promises of the resurrection and we cannot wait to celebrate them with you!
In fact, for the month of April we are going to pause our Acts series and look closely at the hope of the resurrection. This sermon series, titled Beyond the Shadowlands, will help us cherish the ongoing and sure hope of the risen Jesus. We hope that you’ll be praying and inviting and joining us as we dive in.
In addition to Easter, there are all kinds of exciting things going on in the life of Four Oaks. Andrew Ferguson, our resident Midtown youth leader and Four Oaks Student staff, outlines an opportunity for you to support upcoming summer trips for the youth in the church. Here are some details:
- Students are selling BBQ now through April 1st. Delicious boston butt, ribs, sausage, and ham. Each roast is $30 and helps offset costs for students going on the summer trips to New Orleans, LA and Kentucky.
- For those wanting to try before they buy, there is a BBQ lunch where all products will be available to sample. This Sunday (3/29) after the 11am service in 4Oaks Youth Room. Adult plates $10, family pack $30.
- For more info and links, look for the BBQ Fundraiser image below this message.
In addition to youth BBQ support raising, you can look below to find all sorts of ways to get connected (Workday tomorrow, Seder on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, a change in Midtown worship times for Easter, Gospel Bridges class, etc.) We are grateful to be a part of this church and look forward to a full and fruitful spring.
With much love, for the pastors,