New Mercies and the Consolation of God
The opening words of Isaiah 40, “Comfort, Comfort my people,” are among the best known lines in the Bible, because they are used in Handel’s Messiah. These words mark a significant transition in the history of prophecy in the Hebrew tradition. Up to this point in the Old Testament, the oracles of the prophets preserved in scripture have prophesied “war, famine, and pestilence” to use Jeremiah’s language – oracles of judgment. Now, in the 40th chapter of the book of Isaiah, we find a prophet whose main theme is consolation.
This will be the theme we will be exploring throughout the season of Lent, beginning on Wednesday, February 17th with our Ash Wednesday service. Some of us think of consolation as a prize for those who get 2nd place, but as we will discover, divine consolation is not simply pity or even just helping someone feel better (although that is certainly part of it), but consolation provides alleviation, restoration, and even fortification. Isaiah is writing to the people of Israel whose period of exile was drawing to a close. Not only had she served her term, she had “paid double for all her sins.” (Isaiah 40.2) These were words written to people who were feeling desperate and desolate, people who were feeling unmoored from who they had been just a few generations before. They were words written to a people who were embarking on a journey that would result in them having a new identity and understanding of what it meant to be children of God.
Lenten Devotional Email Signups
We are putting together a Lenten Devotional based on our theme for this year, Morning by Morning: New Mercies and the Consolation of God. If you would like to receive daily devotional emails, you may sign up here.
WORSHIP, GIVING & LENT AT HOME
LENTEN HOME KITS
RESCHEDULED: — pick up for these will be on Saturday, February 20 from 9am-12pm.
The church is putting together a “Lenten Home Kit” for anyone interested in a handful of items and practices that will help you participate in Ash Wednesday and Holy Week and guide you through Lent from home alongside other MSPC members. There will be items for kids, youth, and adults included based on each household’s members.
The kits will be available for pick up on the Saturday, February 20 from 9am-12pm.
Ash Wednesday food drive for CRCKY
RESCHEDULED: Ash Wednesday Food Drive for CRCKY — drop off of these items on Saturday, February 20 from 9am-12pm.
In partnership with the youth group of Ohavay Zion Synagogue, the youth of Maxwell Street are hosting a food drive for the Community Response Coalition of Kentucky (CRCKY).
Maxwell Street has been a great supporter of CRCKY in the past, a nonprofit that provides aid to immigrant families and individuals especially those without documentation. Bring anything from the list to the church on Ash Wednesday from 10-5. Donations can be made another time if coordinated with the church office. The youth of MSPC thank you for your generosity!
FELLOWSHIP DURING LENT
VIRTUAL ORGAN RECITAL
Sunday, February 21 at 3pm
For the beginning of Lent, Dr. Ted Gentry will present a virtual organ recital featuring Maxwell Street’s Rieger pipe organ. Ted will play works by Bach, Boëllmann, and Liszt. There will be watch party to view the recital on Sunday afternoon, February 21, at 3 pm on our church’s YouTube Channel. A link will be provided in the Friday email. The recital will also be available for viewing after that date.
Theology on Tap- Spring Lent study: Liturgy of the Ordinary
Theology on Tap is a discussion and fellowship group that is open to all young adults or anyone who enjoys lively conversation that is often at the intersection of culture, theology, history, and current events. All are welcome to join us on the last Monday of each month. We hope you join us in February on the 22nd at 7:00 pm.We continue to meet on Zoom, Reach out to Rachel (Rachel@maxpres.org) for Zoom info.
The last year has taught us that our faith shouldn’t be rooted in the church building. Instead, it should be rooted in our daily lives, our homes, workplaces, and interactions. God and the sacred are all around us. With practice and intentionality, the everyday can become more and more meaningful and spiritually enriching. As we walk through Lent, simplifying, reflecting, journeying together towards Holy Week. The young adults of MSPC will read the book Liturgy of the Ordinary together beginning in February. Reach out to Rachel for help acquiring a book if need be. All are welcome to join us in this seasonal read!
LENTEN VIRTUAL MISSION TRIP
Pack your bags for a virtual trip to Rwanda, Kenya, and Zimbabwe! Glimpse the kingdom of God with orphaned and vulnerable children around the world lifting themselves permanently out of poverty.
The Virtual Mission Trips are set up for a three-day period from 9:00a.m. – 10:30a.m. each day. Each day of the trip we will have the opportunity to hear from those in the program, both children and leaders.
ZOE will even do their best to feature our Favor Luuma Group so that we can meet some of the children we have been supporting with our donations! What a great opportunity!
As we get closer to the actual date of our “trip” ZOE will share a Zoom link with our group along with a trip journal and resources information. Anyone interested will be able to register with ZOE and instructions will be available. One more important detail…there is no cost for these trips…that’s right, it’s free!
What does this unique travel experience include?
Day 1 on March 2 at 9:30a.m.
Visit Rwanda with Epiphanie Mujawimana, founder of Zoe’s empowerment program and manager of Zoe Rwanda. Listen in wonder as Epiphanie describes Zoe’s genesis out of tragedy and how this movement of God began. You will be amazed by what orphaned children in Rwanda are capable of with just a little support.
Day 2 on March 3 at 9:30a.m.
Explore a Kenyan village with Reegan Kaberia, Zoe’s chief program officer and manager of Zoe Kenya. Hear directly from the incredible boys and girls in Zoe’s program. Be inspired by the triumph of the human spirit in God’s hands.
Day 3 on March 4 at 9:30a.m.
Travel to the exotic location of India and speak with Nani Chintala, manager for Zoe Vizag, India. See God at work in urban slums on a new continent. Also learn how your gifts and skills can be used by God to change the world for these young people.