Pastors’ Update 03-15-2019

Hi Everyone and Happy Sabbath!

By now, I am sure we have all heard or read about the senseless and racially motivated killings that occurred in Christchurch, New Zealand yesterday (Friday in New Zealand). The latest report I read this morning places the death toll at 49, and another 20 wounded and injured. One of the killers wore a camera mounted on his head as he took automatic weapons from his vehicle and entered the mosque during Muslim Friday prayers. He live-streamed the indiscriminate murders on Facebook and Instagram for others to see as his hatred and violence took the lives of so many men and women as they prayed.

Of course, we are all too familiar with similar acts of violence that have occurred recently in our own country. Eleven Jewish worshipers were killed and seven wounded in a synagogue in Pittsburg last October by a radical anti-Semitic racist. In 2018, the United States suffered through 82 violent school shootings! Fifty-one people were killed during those acts of violence last year! Most of those school shootings were committed by students – children – who targeted their peers and teachers! 
Our governments, religious leaders, and educators argue about the causes of this violence, ad nausea. But, it continues to increase and become more common place. It seems there is no end to such hatred, mental illness, and violence. 
Have you wondered what God thinks about the violence He sees in His children? In Genesis 6:5, we read what God thought about the violent society just before the flood, “Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that He made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”

Do we “grieve in our hearts”, as God does when He sees the violence? Do we “sigh and cry over all the abominations” (Ezekiel 9:4) that are done in our world? Let’s remember to pray for the families of the victims of violence, and “mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15 NIV).

Tomorrow is the third Sabbath (Pot Luck Sabbath) of the month. We will be having Sabbath services at 2:30 pm in Anderson, and Lodi, and at 10:30 am in Citrus Heights.  Please bring a contribution for our pot luck meals. The Growing Kids God’s Way class will take place in Lodi after services this week. Our plan is to complete the classes before Passover. So, we don’t want to miss a class! Please bring your workbooks and be ready for the class.

We had our pot luck dinner and “Bingo Night”, with prizes, after services in Anderson last week. Everyone had lots of good food, fun, and fellowship! Thank you to all who attended and participated, and special thanks to Gail King and Barbara Chapman for the prizes and coordination of our social evening!