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Easter Offering

Read this thank-you note from Ben Farnsworth for what our church family’s generosity was able to do for Downtown Ministries in Athens:

” Dear Christ Community Family,

Thank you so much for having us come share about Downtown Ministries and worship with you last month. The money from the Easter offering will enable us to continue to love and encourage hundreds of kids each year, and share the gospel with them through our sports and educational programs. We are also excited about parterning through the Jobs For Life program. Without some key leadership from CCC, this program wouldn’t be happening.

Thanks again for your support! Without gifts like yours we could not do what we do. We are thankful to have CCC as a part of the Downtown Ministries Family and look forward to continuing our relationship.

Grace and peace,

Ben Farnsworth” “

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Coming This Easter Sunday

We could not be more thrilled as a church that this coming Sunday is Easter Sunday. Come join us as we celebrate our Savior who proved Himself more powerful than death as He raised Himself from the dead. Whether you’re a skeptic or a believer or somewhere in between, join us at 10 AM or 12 PM in the 130 Foundry Building.

Hear Matt speak on ‘One Word, One Love’ from John 20:16.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me! I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.”

“You are stronger, You are stronger. Sin is broken, You have saved me. It is written, Christ is risen. Jesus, You are Lord of all!”

“Marvelous grace of our loving Lord, grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt! Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured, there where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.”

“Christ is risen from the dead, trampling over death by death. Come awake, come awake, come and rise up from the grave. Christ is risen from the dead, we are one with Him again. Come awake, come awake, come and rise up from the grave.”

“I see you there hanging on a tree, You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me. Now you are sitting on Your heavenly throne. Soon we will be coming home, You’re beautiful!”

See you there! Invite anyone and everyone you know!

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Impersonal Salvation?

Read this post by elder David Hunt on how Jesus’ death on the cross became more personal to him:

                                        

I’m pretty sure that everyone in the Western world (and probably a lot who aren’t) knows that this coming Sunday is Easter, the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection to life. However, what gets lost sometimes is that the days leading up to Sunday are about death – Christ’s death. And we all know what he died for, right? Jesus died for our sins, of course. I thank him in prayer for that often, but also quite often, I have difficulty really grasping this. It can be an abstraction to me. Jesus died for our sins. What does that mean? I don’t always feel a personal connection to this concept. I do sin. I am a sinner. I get that. But Jesus dying for sins feels a little…well…impersonal nevertheless.

    What helps me grasp the weightiness of Christ’s work on the cross is to remember my friend Randy. I worked with Randy several years ago for some time. Randy was one of the nicest people you could meet. Friendly, engaging, always inquiring about your life, your family, how things are going. Nothing really seemed to tick him off or get him down. One Sunday, a few years ago, Randy was working in the front yard of his house here in Athens. He noticed a lady with a stroller walking down his street. Randy didn’t know this lady. But, of course, that didn’t matter. As she approached, he walked out to the curb to say hello, to meet her, to get to know one of his neighbors. Before long, they were surprised by a car swerving at a high speed down their otherwise quiet suburban street. The car approached their spot quickly. There was but a split second to react. In that instant, Randy managed to simultaneously grab the neighbor by her arm and the stroller and fling them into his front yard. Just as the car hit Randy. He died of his injuries the next day. Randy didn’t know this lady and her baby. He had just met them. And yet, Randy gave up his life to save the lives of these two strangers.

   I don’t know what Randy’s legacy has been for his widow and his own two boys. His death was an unimaginable loss to them, I’m sure. I hope they have seen their own good somehow worked out by God in this tragedy. I know that, for me, Randy’s sacrifice for those two strangers continues to leave a legacy of God’s work in my own life. By knowing Randy and knowing how he died to save two people, I am reminded of why Jesus died. Yes, he died for my sins. What really blows me away, though, is that he died for me. For me. He took the hit so I can live.

   Randy didn’t know what was coming. His was an act of spontaneity and reaction. He didn’t know he would die, and my guess is that, if he knew he would die, these two people were probably not at the top of his list of people to sacrifice his life for. Jesus, though, knew what was coming. He knew those for whom he died. He knew that we shouldn’t make the list of those deserving his sacrifice. He did it anyway. He died for us because he loves us. He wants us to live. Even if he had to die.

   Easter marks a joyous celebration of a wonderful event. Jesus proved once and for all that he is God by overcoming death itself. It is a reason to be glad. But don’t forget his death this week. Put yourself in shoes of the lady and her baby who live today because someone else accepted death on their behalf. Better yet, put yourself in your own shoes as one who has been loved so much and so much more than you deserve that Jesus himself would accept death on your behalf. Jesus died for our sins. We know that. But don’t ever, ever forget: Jesus died for you.

 Because he loves you.

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It Is Finished - Good Friday

This Friday, April 6th, we will gather at the Seney-Stovall Chapel at 6:30 PM. Follow this link to register for attending the service as well as a map of where the Chapel is.

Important: Please register if you plan on attending, but if you forget to register or find yourself in town Friday when you thought you wouldn’t be, please come anyway!

See y’all there!

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Good Friday

The Easter season is fast approaching. Before we celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday, we want to come together as a church and reflect on his death on the cross on Good Friday. 

On Friday night, April 6th, we will gather at the Seney-Stovall Chapel at 6:30 pm for a night of worship and remembrance. We do this every Friday before Easter because we want to remember the horrific, brutal death Jesus endured. We will remember an act of God, who created us for himself, being made sin for us so that we might know him in fullness. We will remember the death we deserved to die and the one who died in our place.

We will sing songs like When I Survey The Wonderful Cross and remember the clash of love and sorrow of Christ’s crucifixion. And we will sing Jesus I Long For Thee and through a sense of longing lift up our prayers to God.

We hope you will join us for our Good Friday gathering. If you are planning on coming, and especially if you are planning on bringing family, friends or kids, please register here.

Here are a couple links to songs we will sing that night:

A full set list of the songs for the Good Friday Night of Worship will be posted next week!

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Lent Season

As of today, we are two weeks into the Lent season. We are wondering how your time of preparation to celebrate Easter is going?

In case you missed it the first time, we have a lent guide from The Village Church in Texas that can help you walk through this season as an individual or with your family to really focus on Jesus’ death and resurrection. We encourage you to use this study guide in the next few weeks leading up to Easter!

We also want to remind you that this Easter Sunday, April 8th, we will be gathering at our normal times of 10 AM & 12 PM. If you are a college student, please prayerfully consider staying in town and inviting friends you wouldn’t expect to come to church for this gathering! If you are a family, we would love for you to do the same.

PS - If you’re on Spotify, our friends at Sojourn Church in Louisville have put together a fantastic playlist for Lent.

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Recovering Lent

Thomas Watson (1620-1686) wrote, ‘The more we enjoy of God, the more we are ravished with delight.’

This is why I’m inviting you to take part in observing Lent, a season where we focus our attention on the life of Jesus as he makes his way towards the cross. Lent is a season of preparation as we move towards Good Friday and Easter, remembering Jesus’ death for our sins and his victory over the grave. It is a season to renew the intentionality of the gospel in everyday life as we reacquaint ourselves with the rhythms of repentance and faith.

For some, Lent becomes nothing more than empty ritual or religious performance. For us, it’s an opportunity to explicitly and emphatically focus our hearts, minds and live on the perfect life of Jesus.

I want to encourage you to use this study guide, created by The Village Church in Dallas, TX, to guide you through the seven weeks of Lent. Each week will include a reading from the life of Christ in the Gospel of Luke, as well as four supplemental passages to consider throughout the week. Additionally, there is a suggested fast to coincide with each week.

Here is how the staff at The Village is encouraging their church to use the Lent Guide:

Each Sunday, you should read the provided passage from the life of Christ and also consider journaling, discussing, praying through and re-reading the narrative and supplemental texts throughout the week. This process will hopefully stir up a few questions:

1.      What do these passages of Scripture reveal about the nature and character of Christ?

2.      What do these passages reveal about your own heart?

3.      How can you respond to God’s provision in His Son and Spirit in light of your own deficiency?

As Lent is not intended to be pursued merely on Sundays, this guide is not intended to be picked up one day a week. We can only truly enter into the tradition of Lent by establishing a rhythm of consistency. You are encouraged to spend time considering how and when you will pursue the joyful disciplines of reading, praying, meditating and fasting during the season.

I’m looking forward to this season in the life of our church. I hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity to ‘look to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God’ (Hebrews 12:2).

Much Love,

Matt

PS - If you’re on Spotify, our friends at Sojourn Church in Louisville have put together a fantastic playlist for Lent.

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