Highlights from last week:
As I have visited with people this week, it seems like many felt Sam Ingrassia’s message was particularly timely and meaningful–partly because I think it is easy to picture ourselves as big, thick blocks of marble. (Picture Lucy yelling at Charlie Brown, “You blockhead!”) And I think, deep down, we all dream of becoming something significant like La Pieta—the sculpture Michelangelo carved of Mary holding Jesus that Sam referenced so many times in his message. And like Sam mentioned, the problem will always be transforming a big block of marble into a beautiful masterpiece. As Sam hit his chisel with his hammer from the pulpit, I think I heard other people audibly gasp, like I did, with each hit as we remembered certain painful strikes of the hammer in our own lives.
Bang. The hammer hit the chisel. A childhood hurt. Off came some marble.
Bang. A broken relationship. Off came another chip of rock.
Bang. A critical medical diagnosis. Bang. A sick or lost child. Bang. Physical pain. More chips explode from the impact.
Bang. A betrayal. Bang. A disappointment. Bang. A missed opportunity. Almost like the ticking of a watch go the hammer and chisel—reminding us of the clock-tower from Cinderella about to strike midnight–our time here on earth is limited. Why does it sometimes feel like each minute is filled with so much pain?
May I encourage you that God isn’t finished with you yet? And while you may be hurting from the impact of the chisel, your pain won’t last forever. He who began a good work in you will see you through each and every circumstance (Philippians 1:6).
And if you’re still here walking on this planet, no matter how old, how damaged, or how broken you feel, God still has a purpose for you, or you wouldn’t be here.
So don’t give up. All your pain. All. Of. Your. Pain. God sees it. All of it. Not one of your tears has gone unnoticed by our Savior. And as He wipes away all of your tears (Revelation 21:4), His gentle hand is smoothing out your rough spots. It may feel like sandpaper, but He’s using a polishing cloth made of diamonds. They’re sharp, but they’re the best at the job. And you’re worth it.
This week is a communion Sunday, and we will also be taking a benevolence offering. If you know of a member of the MBC body who is struggling with financial or other needs, you can apply for aid from this fund for them. Contact the church office (click here) for more information.
This Sunday night, there will also be a Community Praise and Worship service at Stonegate Church. Doors open at 5:30pm and the service starts at 6pm. The Revelation Family Bible study and the Y.A.M.s group (Young Adult Ministry) will also be meeting on Sunday evening. Pick one of these ways to “fill your spiritual fuel tank” before starting the work week!
If you’re new to the community at MBC, please consider joining us for our Discover MBC class this Sunday (2/9) and next Sunday (2/16) from 9-10:15am in the Hospitality room. Here you will get a closer look at our mission statement: To glorify God and make disciples by bringing people together through the Gospel and building up mature followers of Christ. You will also get to meet members of the church leadership team, and we’ll feed you breakfast! Register now on the website or call the church office to let us know you’re coming.
Mark your calendars for next Saturday, February 15th , and support our MBC Students as they host a Dinner/Comedy Showcase and silent auction to raise money for this year’s youth camp (June 20-27). Tickets are $5 a person, and you can sign up and pay on our website or you can purchase tickets at the door. Please join them for an evening of good food, fun, and fellowship. Contact Leah Austin (click here) in the MBC Students’ office for more information.
Sunday, February 23rd will feature a baptism at the end of the service. If you would like to publicly demonstrate your faith this way, please preregister on the website and a pastor will contact you.
Now I’m going to speak directly to our MBC women for a moment. First, we are offering two new “Fitness and Fellowship” classes led by Ginger Smith. Come check out our free low-impact strength and conditioning class on Tuesdays and the cardio/step class on Thursdays from 9-10am. If you resolved to get in better shape for the New Year and you’re starting to lose your motivation, come make new friends and get fit with us!
Second, our next MBC Women’s Coffee and Conversations will be in The Hub on Sunday evening, February 23rd, from 7-8:30pm. I know Elizabeth Reynolds, Linda Bevier, and Rachel Staalsen have something very special planned.
Last, don’t forget to get your tickets for our mini-retreat March 13-14 at the Hope 2020 Women’s Conference featuring Liz Curtis Higgs and Lysa Terkeurst at The Avenue Church in Waxahachie.
Finally, the next Family Meal Night will be Wednesday, February 26th and if you don’t want us to say, “No soup for you!” you had better register to attend on the website or in Realm so we have enough food. This “soup-themed” evening which will feature chicken noodle soup, tomato soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, a salad, and pineapple upside-down cake for dessert. Come enjoy dinner before Wednesday night ministries with other members of the MBC family.
So remember, God is smoothing and polishing you into His Poema—His Masterpiece. You are His workmanship. Created for the good works He prepared beforehand for you (Ephesians 2:10). You are a prize sculpture in His art gallery. You are significant. Even when you’re experiencing the pain from the chisel, know that He’s holding you. Tightly. So the chisel goes where it’s supposed to. Your pain is not happening by accident. He won’t ever let you go. And someday He’ll hold you again when we meet Him face-to-face, and He welcomes us home with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master” (Matthew 25:21-23).
In service to Him and to you,