- Phone: (714) 528-1174
603 S. Valencia Ave. Brea, CA 92823
- Sunday: 8:15 & 10:45am
Hope of Reconciliation
The frame around Pastor Shannon’s sermon was the question, Who makes it hard for you to go home for Christmas? … whether you define home in terms of your natural family or your church family. What relationship in your life is fractured? It could be a fresh break or an old one (like Jacob’s) that has calcified in an awkward way and still aches. Jacob prayed about it, and so can we. Here are some suggestions:
Pastor Shannon pointed out five positive elements of Jacob’s prayer. One was Jacob’s honesty with God; “I fear him,” he tells God, speaking of his brother, Esau. Tell God honestly how you feel when you think of that person. Angry? Ashamed? Bitter? Confused? God already knows, but He prizes honesty and wants to hear from you.
In God’s presence, meditate on the value He places on reconciliation, as evidenced by the lengths to which He went to reconcile you to Himself. It took the incarnation of His Son at Christmas and Jesus’ death and resurrection at Easter – an unimaginable price. With gratitude, marvel at and revel in your own reconciliation with God.
Pastor Shannon noted that we, having experienced reconciliation with God through Christ, have an advantage over Jacob and Esau. Let the forgiveness and reconciliation you have experienced overflow to your fractured relationship. Shannon’s words reminded me of Jesus’ parable of the unmerciful servant in Matthew 18:21-35. As the gracious master in the story says to the unmerciful servant, God says to us, “Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?” Ask God to help you do that.
Thank God that He has been working in your life, preparing you to take this hard step, just as He worked in Jacob’s life, preparing him to reunite with his brother. God’s work in us is usually slow and far from obvious. We often don’t see it until we look back from a distance of time. But we can trust that He is at work.
If the Lord brought to mind someone with whom you need to be reconciled and if He leads you in that process this Christmas season, give a testimony by sharing your story with another – a friend, your small group, Pastor Shannon, or even the prayer blog!
Lately, Tomasz Chylka has been realizing that “the less of us there is within us and the more prayerful we are, the more the Lord can use us. Can we put our trust in the grace of God? Are we able to wait for the Lord’s doing and join Him?” In his latest letter, Tomasz tells the story of how he prayed over a local newspaper article about rising alcoholism among young people in his area and how God responded by opening the door to school assemblies on the topic. About 250 teenagers heard Christian testimonies at these assemblies, and some stayed for long, one-on-one conversations with Tomasz. Read Tomasz’s letter in full here and pray for the Chylkas and the Pszczyna church as they follow God’s leading in reaching out to their community.
Connie Lasley asks for prayer for her son’s family as he prepares for deployment in February. Daniel’s wife is Mika, and their children, ranging in age from 2 to 8, are Lincoln, Noel, Ava, and Grant. Even though Daniel’s deployment isn’t until February, he will be gone for three weeks of training in January. Ask the Lord to help this military family, and all military families, with the difficulties of separation.
I hope you got to hear the children of Calvary sing in our services on Sunday. What a joy to see these children – the earnest ones, the nervous ones, and even the mischievous ones – pointing all of us to the Lord. Take time to pray for these children and their families.
Calvary Community Church of Brea