Church Services are now open!!!!!!!!
There will be Facebook live recordings at 9:30AM on Sundays. Please join us.
We invite you to worship with us every Sunday at 8:00 AM Church Service & 9:30 AM & Spanish service at 11:00 AM. Pastor Forum at 11AM on Zoom
Holy Communion is celebrated the first and 3rd Sundays at all services
Spanish Services are being held Friday evenings at 7:00 PM
We are continuing to move forward as a congregation. Each week it seems more and more people are coming to worship in person as more people get the vaccine and are more comfortable meeting together. Many of the activities that were put on hold are slowly coming to life again. There will no doubt be disappointments that not everything will be the same as it was before the pandemic, but we are moving forward.
The book of Ezra recounts the history of when God’s people came back to the Promised Land after having been away for a long time. They had been in exile in Babylon (many of us may have similar feelings after this year of quarantine!). Ezra 3:12 tells the part of the story when the foundation of the temple was laid and building began. There was great joy and shouting and also wailing. Wailing and sorrow at what had been lost and what had changed but also great joy that God was keeping His promises. The people of Israel were moving forward. It was a time of great rebirth and new life that finally led to Jesus arriving.
The temple that Ezra helped build was the same temple that Jesus would visit 500 years later. The same temple that He would be brought to by His parents for dedication, when Simeon swept Him up and sang for joy. It’s the same temple that He would visit regularly, teach in and chase moneychangers out of. The same temple that would stand as silent witness to His death and resurrection. The same temple where the apostles would do miracles recorded in the book of Acts.
When Ezra laid the foundation of the temple all of those great events lay in the future. As we come out of the pandemic and begin life together again anew, God has many great things for us in the future. We will soon celebrate Easter. That great festival where we remember the new life Jesus has given us and the bright future that awaits us, especially when this life is over. Of course, some things are different at Apostles and they won’t be exactly the same as they were before the pandemic, but God has great things in store for us. We still have a wonderful message about forgiveness and love in a world that is searching for stability and hope. We still have wonderful facilities and committed people who want to share the Word and works that God has for us.
There will of course be challenges as we move into the Summer months and all the challenges they normally bring us here in the Phoenix area. We will not all agree with every decision made by our leaders. But these are small concerns compared to the blessings God gives us in forgiveness, hope, His presence and His promises. Remember our Theme verse for this year, Exodus 14:15, “God told the people of Israel to move forward.” And so we are, in Jesus name and with His leading.