Key Passage: John 20:30-31 “Jesus performed many other signs…which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.”

Big Picture Question: What is the Sabbath? The Sabbath is a day of rest.

Christ Connection: Jesus healed a man’s hand on the Sabbath even though the religious leaders thought He shouldn’t. Jesus showed that God gives us rules to help us, not to hurt us. The religious leaders made a plan to kill Jesus, but God planned to use Jesus’ death to help people by saving them from their sin.

Dear Parents,
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Last week, kids learned that four friends brought their paralytic friend to Jesus. Kids also learned that from that time, the Pharisees kept a watchful eye on Jesus, to see if they could catch Him in sin. One Sabbath as Jesus taught in the synagogue, a man in the synagogue had a paralyzed hand. The religious leaders knew Jesus had power to heal people. They watched to see if He would heal on the Sabbath. According to the law, people should not do work on the Sabbath.

Jesus was not only aware of the scribes and Pharisees watching Him, but He knew their thoughts as well. So Jesus called to the man with the paralyzed hand. “Stand up here,” Jesus said. So the man stood, and Jesus addressed the religious leaders.

“Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do what is good or to do what is evil, to save a life or to kill?” Jesus asked. The religious leaders did not answer. The hardness of their hearts made Jesus sad. They didn’t understand God’s purpose for the Sabbath. Jesus told the man, “Stretch out your hand.” The man’s hand was healed. The Pharisees and scribes were angry, and they discussed what they might do to Jesus.
Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath (Luke 6:5), meaning that He has control. But Jesus hadn’t come to get rid of the Sabbath; He wanted to remind the people why God gave them the Sabbath. (See Ex. 20:8-11.) God intended for the Sabbath to be a blessing to His people, a day of rest from their hard work. But the Pharisees made the Sabbath all about following the rules, making the Sabbath a burden instead.

Jesus showed that God’s laws were meant to help people, not to hurt them. Jesus acted in love, even on the Sabbath. The religious leaders planned to kill Jesus. They did not know Jesus was going to die to show God’s love to the whole world. God provided forgiveness and salvation through Jesus’ death on the cross.

Family Activity: It’s always the right time to do something good! Assemble together and assign a family member a task to help another family member. For example, instruct siblings to help each other with chores. As a family, you may also volunteer at a soup kitchen. Talk about how God wants us to do good things each day because we love Him and want to obey Him.

Dear FPC—
How is week 2 (or is it 3?) of physical distancing going for you? As Jen our office administrator said, these two weeks have been the longest year of her life! I hope you are able to use this disruption to be intentional about the most important things in your life: make time for conversation with loved ones; spend time each day with God through prayer and Bible reading; take care of your body by eating good food and getting some sunshine and fresh air when you can; play games! Our family has started a “family read” over Skype twice a week as a way to connect and visit. What is working for you?
Yesterday Alice and I were taking our walk and saw a remarkable sight—a “committee” of turkey vultures (apparently that is what they are called—or a kettle, I love both names!). We must have seen 25 or more birds (BIG birds!) circling over the university and avenues area. It was a great reminder to me of all the things that are happening—flowers blooming, sunsets reddening, spring coming—without regard for our current circumstances. It also reminds me to stop and say thank you to God who holds all of it in his hands, and who is working himself, if only we notice. So—let’s stop and notice and praise more, even in the middle of worry and disruption. As Psalm 5:5-6 encourages us: “I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the Lord sustains me. I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.”
Here is a link to a really helpful reminder of how to nurture your closest relationships from Dr. Julie Gottman, one of the nation’s foremost relationship experts. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/25/lockdown-with-your-partner-heres-how-healthy-couples-survive/?utm_campaign=wp_first_reads&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm=1
Finally, I hope you are able to join us online to worship on Sunday. This week we will be looking at God’s people, the Church! There has never been a time in our lives when it has been more clear that the Church is not a building or a place but a people. Join us on Facebook Live.
May you use these days to “continue to live your lives in Jesus, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith and overflowing with thankfulness.” Col 2:6-7

Pastor Steve

Key Passage: John 20:30-31 “Jesus performed many other signs…which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.”

Big Picture Question: How did Jesus help the man who could not walk? Jesus healed the man and forgave his sins.

Christ Connection: The man who was paralyzed needed help. He needed to be healed. First, Jesus forgave the man’s sins. Jesus showed that He can forgive sins because He is God. Then Jesus healed the man so he could walk. Jesus has the power to heal and to forgive sins.

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. When was the last time someone cut a hole in the church roof while you were listening to your pastor? In today’s Bible story, Jesus was in Capernaum, a city on the Sea of Galilee. The Pharisees and scribes—teachers of the law—came to listen to Jesus’ teaching. They were curious about His message and wanted to make sure He was teaching things that were true. So many people came that they crowded the house; there was no more room.
That day, four friends came to see Jesus. The four men carried their friend who was paralyzed. The men believed Jesus came from God and that He could heal people. Because the friends could not get through the crowd, they carried their friend to the roof and lowered him down to Jesus.

Jesus’ words to the paralyzed man surprised the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Rather than saying, “Get up and walk,” Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven.” The religious leaders kept quiet, but Jesus knew their thoughts. In their hearts, they accused Jesus of blasphemy, dishonoring God by claiming to do what only God can do.

Jesus asked them, “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?” Simply saying, “Your sins are forgiven,” seems to be the easier thing, but to actually forgive sins is harder, something only God can do. As God, Jesus has the power and authority to heal and forgive. And Jesus would take the man’s sins upon Himself on the cross. The man who was paralyzed needed to be healed. Jesus knew this and did something even greater; Jesus forgave his sins, and then He healed the man. Because Jesus is God, He has the power and authority to heal and forgive. Jesus offers forgiveness to those who trust in Him.

Family Activity: Read Matthew 9:1-8 together: Create get-well packs for a hospital or church ministry. Include a travel-size tissue pack, travel-size hand sanitizer, a few cough drops or peppermint candies, and some adhesive bandages. Place the items in a Ziplock bag. Write on an adhesive label. This many help you feel better, but only Jesus heals! We are praying for you. Pray over the bags for the people who will use them.

Dear FPC—
What a week! Fear of disease, social distancing, earthquake, aftershocks, — Oh My!
But this is not a time to pull back, this is a time to connect. Several times this week I’ve gotten calls from friends. People who just were checking in and wanted to visit. It was amazing how great it felt to get to talk and visit with these friends. I felt loved. I remembered that we have other friends out there. We are not alone.

Just because we can’t (and shouldn’t) physically get together, should not stop us from being together on the phone, on Skype, on FaceTime, you name it! Let us BE THE ONES WHO CALL! I really encourage each of you to pick up your phone and call someone—call that person who pops into your mind (maybe that is the Holy Spirit nudging you!). Merely saying “Hi—I just wanted to see how you are doing” is probably enough to launch a good conversation. Listen for needs. Maybe it is picking up food or supplies at the store. Maybe it is a regular call just to visit or pray together. Maybe it is getting a group together for a conversation. You can do that online easily—both FaceTime and Skype can easily have small groups on a call, as well as Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, etc. Another option for more organized meetings is zoom.com . They let you have video or audio conferences for free. You can get a free account and then set up meetings that people call into or log into on their computer/phone/tablet. Really easy—I promise!

So don’t sit at home, pick up the phone! If each of us made 2 or 3 calls a day, think about many people we could connect with! Think about how many people would feel God’s love through you. Don’t wait, start dialing!

This is also a great time to deepen our connection with God. We have worship on line, our Tuesday Evening Prayer and Praise on Facebook live, and many of our groups, studies and classes are moving to meet using zoom (look at our website, www.fpcslc.org for more information!). But each of us needs to spend time with God directly. As our days for many of us are more unscheduled, it is important to impose a schedule on ourselves. What a great time to start or renew a discipline of reading scripture and praying! I am attaching a 14 day devotional retreat that you may find useful (you can also find it on our homepage ).
One great way to read and pray is with the reading plan from the Bible Project. Just click here and scroll down to “Read the Bible in One Year” Or download their “Read Scripture” app for your phone.

I can’t encourage you enough to use this time of disruption to CONNECT. Connect with your friends, your neighbors, your loved ones—just call! And connect with God in new ways.

I am praying for each of you and your health and safety in these crazy times! God is still in control, and you can trust him!

Blessings to you!

Pastor Steve

Key Passage: John 20:30-31 “Jesus performed many other signs…which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.”

Big Picture Question: How did Jesus help the man with leprosy? Jesus touched the man and healed him.

Christ Connection: The man with the skin disease had to stay away from his friends and family. Jesus helped the man. Jesus touched the man and healed him. Sin is like a disease that keeps us away from God, but Jesus will take away our sin if we ask Him.

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. In ancient Israel, living with a skin disease wasn’t easy. It was painful and isolating. Leprosy is a disease caused by bacteria, and it affects the skin, nerves, and mucous membranes. The disease can cause deformities in hands and feet and paralysis of some muscles. Leprosy is contagious, and the people of Israel had laws about what to do when a person becomes infected.

In today’s Bible story, a man with a serious skin disease approached Jesus and fell down before Him. “If You are willing, You can make me clean,” he said to Jesus. The man’s words were more of a truthful declaration than a request. He clearly trusted in Jesus’ power to heal people, and he longed to be healed himself.

Jesus reached out and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said. Typically, no one touched a leper. Touching an unclean person would make you unclean too. But Jesus didn’t become unclean. Instead, the diseased man was immediately healed.

Not only did Jesus have the power to make a leper clean, He was willing to make him clean. Like the disease of leprosy, sin deeply affects all people and makes them spiritually dead. Jesus willingly died on the cross and rose from the dead to save us from our sin and give us new life.

Family Activity: As a family, create your own body wash. An adult or older teen should carefully grate a favorite bar of soap into a saucepan. Add 2 to 3 cups of water to the grated soap. Heat it over medium heat until the soap dissolves into a milky water. You may choose to use essential oils to create your own scent. Allow the mixture to cool for a few hours. It should become more of a gel. If it’s too hard, reheat and add more water. Pour into a squeezable container and enjoy! Talk about how soap cleans away dirt, but only Jesus can remove sin.

Dear FPC—

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

As Christians, we move in faith, not fear. We trust in and serve a God who is able to work all things, even bad things, for our good. But how do we live that out? How do we act prudently in a time when so many rush to panic or to willful ignorance? Neither extreme is right for us.

Here are some thoughts for us during these challenging times:

1. Trust God.

In the midst of uncertainty, we trust God. He is sovereign over human history and over our lives. He is the Lord, “our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1). And he is loving and merciful. Psalm 100:5 assures us, “For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”

We witness to our Christian faith when we resist panic, knowing that our times are in the Lord’s hand (Psalm 31:15). No one can snatch us out of the Father’s hand (John 10:28-29). And so, “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).

2. Pray.

Pray for those affected, and for their loved ones and caregivers. Pray for those making decisions impacting us. Pray for wisdom. Pray for peace. Here are some psalms that may be helpful to pray—read them and make them into your own prayers. That is what the psalms are for!

Trust in God: 27, 31, 57, 146, 62, 63, 71, 73, 77, 91, 118, 121, 124, 125 123, 143
God our Refuge: 4, 20, 17, 37, 46, 49, 54, 61, 71, 91, 103, 121, 146

Psalm 27 is one of my personal favorites.
Ps 27:1
The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

Just meditate on that—even ask God for help in believing it!

If you would like prayer or otherwise need help, please don’t hesitate to call, text or email the church or Pastor Chris or me.

2. Be informed.

There is much on the internet this is unhelpful or misleading. Focus on information from trusted, informed sources. The CDC website provides a wealth of information. Here is their latest update. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html This page has information for people at higher risk (older adults and those with serious chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes or lung disease. https://www.cdc.gov/…/specific…/high-risk-complications.html

You may wish to subscribe to the CDC’s COVID-19 newsletter to get regular updates. Go to their newsletter subscription page and choose the newsletter entitled, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).”

Our Utah Health Department also has good information. https://coronavirus.utah.gov/latest-information

This Sunday Dr Vic MacIntosh will share about how to protect ourselves and respond to this challenging situation. We will be sharing that talk on line.

3. Be prudent.

Wash your hands! Wash them frequently and thoroughly, for a minimum of 20 seconds using soap and warm water. Praying the Lord’s Prayer takes about 20 seconds, so try that! There is no substitute for good handwashing.

For cleaning surfaces, such as doorknobs, countertops, etc., the CDC recommends using bleach (1 part bleach to 100 parts water). We use an even stronger bleach solution in cleaning at the church.

If you have symptoms of a cough, disease, or a fever within the last 24 hours, please stay at home.

If you are returning from known areas of higher prevalence of COVID-19, we encourage you NOT to attend church for two weeks. The list of affected areas and the period of self-quarantine will likely change in the weeks ahead.

4. Act in love.
Reach out to your neighbors, particularly the elderly and those who are vulnerable or alone. If you have a neighbor who can’t go out right now, maybe you can help drop off groceries to them. If you can’t go out right now, you have your church family to help—call a deacon or a pastor or a friend and we will get you help. Christians have always been the ones who rush in to help when others run away. We do not have to be swept up in panic because we have the Rock. Prayerfully consider ways you can be reach out to your neighbors and check in on your co-workers. We are all carrying apprehension and uncertainty, this is a great opportunity to connect with them. This is an opportunity for us to care for our neighbors.

As we worship together online only for the next few weeks, we will be taking special steps to reach out to one another and make sure that everyone is connected to the Body. If you would like to make calls, please let the church office know.

Let us pray:
Almighty God, our strong tower of defense in time of trouble: We offer you praise and heartfelt thanks for our deliverance from the dangers which lately surrounded us and for your gracious gift of peace. We confess that your goodness alone has preserved us; and we ask you still to continue your mercies toward us, that we may always know and acknowledge you as our Savior and mighty Deliverer; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Grace and Peace to you this week!

Pastor Steve

Key Passage: John 20:30-31 “Jesus performed many other signs…which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.”

Big Picture Question: How can we thank Jesus for His help? We can love Jesus and obey Him.

Christ Connection: Peter’s mother-in-law showed she was thankful to Jesus by serving Him. When God created the world, He did not make sickness. Sickness came when sin entered the world, but Jesus came to take away sin. We can thank Jesus for saving us from sin. We can love Jesus and obey Him.

Dear Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Jesus’ fame was increasing. His ministry had begun with the calling of His disciples. Now Jesus traveled with them in the region of Galilee, teaching and performing miracles. The people recognized that Jesus wasn’t like other teachers; He taught with authority. He had even demonstrated His power over evil spirits by healing a man in the synagogue. News about Jesus was spreading. The subject of conversation around Galilee was changing. Who was this Jesus?

Jesus was in Capernaum when He went into the house of Simon Peter and Andrew, two of His disciples. Peter’s mother-in-law also lived in the house, but she was ill. A fever had confined her to bed. Jesus’ disciples told Jesus about the woman’s condition, and Jesus went to her side. Touching the woman’s hand, Jesus healed her. She immediately got up and began to serve Jesus and the others in the house. Serving Jesus and living for Him is how we can show we are thankful to Him.

People in the area heard about the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law, and they came to Jesus to be healed too. That evening, people came to Jesus afflicted by illness or evil spirits, and Jesus healed them.

The prophet Isaiah wrote that the promised Messiah would bear our sickness and carry our pain. Jesus fulfilled this prophecy as He healed people. Sickness exists because the world is broken by sin. One day, when Jesus returns, there will be no more sickness because Jesus dealt with sin on the cross. Jesus’ healings brought a glimpse into the kingdom of God, the world in which Jesus makes all things new—the way God intended—when He comes again. (See Rev. 21:4-5.)

Family Activity: Focus this week on being thankful. Set a container somewhere in a central area of the home. Place several pennies beside it. Each time a family member shows thankfulness, he or she should place a penny in the container. At the end of the week, count the number of pennies in the container. Peter’s mother-in-law was thankful for how Jesus healed her. Allow each person to share something he or she is thankful for.

Dear FPC—
What are you feeling this week? Fear? Hope? Trust? Excitement? Worry? I am grateful that in these unsettled times we (and the whole world) truly are in God’s hands and can trust him.
When the sun is shining and the crocus are blooming it is hard to not start to smile and feel grateful. That is a very healthy thing to do. Time magazine reports that practicing gratitude can: make you more patient, improve your relationships, help you take better care of yourself, help you sleep (count your blessings, not your sheep!), protect you from overeating, ease depression, and give you lasting happiness.
So how can we practice gratitude? Here are two ideas:
“Three Good Things”—each day identify three good moments or things that happened that day. They can be little things, but try to do that every day for a few weeks—see what happens!
“Pray” – since God is the source of our blessings, say thank you! Here is a prayer of Thanksgiving that may help you think about some other things you have to be thankful for. Practice using this prayer as a launch pad for thanking God for his many blessings to you:
Accept, O Lord, our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us.
We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of this world, for the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love.
We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side.
We thank you for setting us at tasks that demand our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments that satisfy and delight us.
We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.
Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he conquered death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.
Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know Christ and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen.

Amen! Can I get an amen?
This Sunday we will continue with our We Believe series. Pastor Chris will lead us as we look at God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. I hope you can join us!

Blessings and peace to you this week in the name of Jesus!

Key Passage: John 20:30-31 “Jesus performed many other signs…which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.”

Big Picture Question: How could Jesus make evil spirits go away? Jesus is more powerful than all evil.

Christ Connection: Jesus made the evil spirit go away because He is more powerful than evil. One day, Jesus will come back and make all bad things to away forever.

Dear Parents,

This week in The Gospel Project® for Kids, kids will learn that Jesus demonstrated His power and authority through miracles. Among Jesus’ healing miracles, Jesus drove out demons, or evil spirits. Demons are evil angels—created, spiritual beings—who sinned against God. The Bible identifies Satan as the head of the demons. (See Job 1:6.)

Demons are enemies of God. They oppose God’s work and try to turn people away from God and the gospel. When Jesus was preaching at the synagogue in Capernaum, an evil spirit began to shout through a man. Jesus commanded the spirit to be quiet, and He drove the demon out of the man. Jesus’ power over demons marked the launch of God’s kingdom. When Jesus cast a demon out of a man who was blind and mute, He said, “If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you” (Matt. 12:28).

Still today, demons try all sorts of strategies to keep believers from being effective witnesses for Christ—including doubt, temptation, pride, guilt, and fear. But we do not need to fear demons because Jesus gives believers authority over them. In the New Testament, Jesus gave His disciples authority over demons, and the demons submitted to them when they commanded them in Christ’s name. (See Luke 9:1; 10:17,19; Acts 8:7; 16:18.)

Jesus is the King who has come to make all things right. By commanding the evil spirit to come out of the man, Jesus showed He has power over all our enemies. One day Jesus will take away Satan, sin, and death once and for all.

Family Activity: Each family member should share something bad that has happened to him or her. Then, he or she must share something good that came from what happened. Discuss how God is always in control over good and evil.