Service Schedule

Sundays 

Traditional Service 8:00 am

Sunday School 9:15 am (adult and children's options available)

Contemporary Blend 10:30 am (child care available)

Junior Church (K-5th Grade) 10:30 am

BYM Sr (8th thru 12th grade) - 6:00 pm

 

Wednesdays

Choir Practice 6:30 pm

Prayer Meeting 7:30 pm

Kidz Klub (age 4 thru 4th grade) - 6:30 pm

BYM Jr (5th thru 8th grade) - 6:30 pm

Men's and Ladies' Bible Studies - 6:30 pm

Directions

We are located at 155 Reedsville Road, Schuylkill Haven, PA 17972

For customized directions from your location, click on the map below:


View Larger Map

If you need to contact us, please call our office at (570) 739-2241. For office hours, click here.

Wet Cement Theology

 A blog from Jeff Byerly at Bethesda EC Church

The world doesn't need another know-it-all theologian. My goal is simply to search the Scriptures, analyze current theological dicussions, respond to the events of the global, national, and local communities in which I live, and share my life incarnationally in order to act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with my God. As I do this please realize that I am wrong from time-to-time and more often than I think. :-) I am also naturally skeptical and often doubt convictions that are held tightly by many others. I invite you to dialogue with me in this same spirit--to explore how Jesus intersects with our world and to keep our sanity as we view this world from his kingdom perspective. 

WHAT IS THE GOSPEL, REALLY?

Posted by Jeff Byerly on Friday, June 28, 2013 @ 2:48 PM

I am still enjoying the beach :-). I am also still reading, as well as enjoying the other activities of beach life. In my reading, I have moved on to a book by John Burke, Mud and the Masterpiece. In it, Burke takes the posture of seeing people through the eyes of Jesus, and then invites the reader to join Jesus on mission in the way that his life exemplified. It is a very practical and simple approach to living as God's kingdom people.

Burke provides several stories from the four Gospels to present a clear picture of how Jesus viewed each person uniquely as a masterpiece covered in mud. As a result, he was able to look past the mud to see the beauty of each person. He did not condemn them with the Law. Rather, he drew out the person's need and gave them what they needed - the Gospel. Burke breaks these encounters into three main themes.

Here they are: The Good News about God and Life - God invites us to live an eternal kind of life that centers on learning to truly love God so he can lead us to truly love others; a restored relationship that restores relationships. The Good News about Jesus - King Jesus' life, death, and resurrection opened the way for us to know that God does not condemn us, but forgives our sins, so that we can walk into Life with his Spirit, who helps us become who he intended. The Good News about Our Part - Through Christ, God has removed every barrier between God and people except one: our pride or free will. As a result, we can humbly choose to turn and trust God to experience his forgiveness and guidance into Life by his Spirit for the kingdom is at hand.

When one observes Jesus' attitudes, words, and actions toward people in need, they can pretty much be placed into one of these categories. His words of condemnation were pretty much reserved for religious leaders, who were trying to lock up the kingdom from the people with whom Jesus hung. Could it be that we are taking on the posture of Pharisees and truncating the Gospel into a method for sin management, where Jesus only solves our sinful standing before God through his death on the cross? As they say, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Compare that with the threefold definition Burke presents above. 

So what's the big deal? Those people who pray to get to heaven through the cross are saved and have eternal life, right? Not so fast. Dallas Willard says that we enter salvation by grace. However, we are not kept without some participation. Grace is not to be treated cheaply. Or did Jesus merely die so that we can live however we want simply because we happened onto a fortunate pill that will cure our sinful standing or a magical incantation prayer that simply relieves our personal guilt?

The Gospel is so much bigger! It's about God's desire for the completion of my life to become the masterpiece he has always wanted me to be. My life takes on greater significance as I learn to turn and align my life with his. John Ortberg illustrated this in a particular teaching: whle standing in a breezy corridor and holding a wooden flute, he showed that the wind only produced sound when the flute was aligned with the wind. In the same way, we were meant to be tuned into God's life and resonate in harmony with it, as we align ourselves to it. This then creates natural witness!

I continually live my life looking for alignment with God's Spirit!  I live in the freedom of the Spirit!  I learn to humbly walk in my relationships in patterns that demonstrate Jesus' life. I align, I resonate, I produce harmony, and God's Gospel lives in and through me; that is true evangelism. No formula to learn. No unnatural, manufactured programs. Just life submitted to the King with patience, kindness, gentleness, self-control and other forms of compassionate obedience. I am a child of the king, and become an ambassador for his kingdom. 

And when lived out together in community, we just might realize what church really is!

 

Linda Scott said...

Posted on Saturday, June 29, 2013 @ 10:42 AM -
Well I know what one of my summer reads will be! Another great message Jeff!!

Add Your Comments

Your Name:
Email A Friend
From Name
From Email
To Name
To Email
Note