The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Why is it when Jesus preached publicly, the good, the bad, and the ugly always showed up to listen to what he had to say? We see this over and over throughout the gospels. It is not by coincidence that tax collectors and sinners, Pharisees and scribes, the outcasts and the elite were all drawn by his message. 
 

Image is Nothing

Image is Nothing

Back in the 90s, Sprite ran a marketing campaign with a basketball player named Grant Hill, who played for the Detroit Pistons. The ads embraced grungy visuals: inner-city basketball court, chain basketball hoop, chain-link fence, chain garbage can. The grit and lack of polish were supposed to serve as a stark contrast to the slick and polished ads Michael Jordan was putting out for Gatorade. Disregarding the fact that Hill was selling a beverage laden with high-fructose corn syrup, and thus probably not the best thing to quench your thirst, or lead to athletic accomplishment, the ads were catchy. 
 

Anything but the Freedom Trail

Anything but the Freedom Trail

If you're like me, and you've been living in Boston for a while, you've done the touristy stuff, ad nauseam! Especially the Freedom Trail. No offense to our fore-fathers, but there's only so many times you can see the same old buildings, old churches, and cemeteries (although the U.S.S. Constitution is pretty sweet every time). So whenever I have out-of-town friends come visit, I warn them ahead of time: sorry (not sorry), but you're doing the Freedom Trail on your own! I'll meet you after, at one of the taverns.

To know, or to be known?

Dear Mosaic Family,

One of my favorite TV series is HBO’s Band of Brothers. It chronicles the experiences of several American paratroopers from their time at boot camp until the end of WWII.

The show mainly focuses on the lives of the soldiers who survived from the beginning of the war to the end, but there is one episode that focuses on the struggles of replacement soldiers who filled in for the men that died in earlier battles. The episode is difficult to watch because the replacements, fresh from the army’s elite paratrooper boot camp, either die very quickly in battle or have an emotional breakdown deeming them unfit for battle.

It’s easy to understand such traumatic change happening so quickly in the hearts, minds, and bodies of soldiers facing bullets and shells in battle. It's not as simple to see how such change can happen in the hearts and minds of people around us in the church. When we’re honest, though, we know that it’s pretty common for people to be extremely excited to live for Christ one moment only to be drastically disheartened and frightened to do so when the reality of the spiritual warfare taking place in their own hearts and the world around them becomes real.

The people that Paul writes to in Galatians were young Christians facing their first battle as Christians after Jewish teachers came into their community requiring the practice of religious traditions in addition to placing their faith in Christ for salvation. The Galatians had to decide between continuing placing their faith solely in the works of Christ, as originally taught by Paul, becoming reliant on the religious practices suggested by the Jewish teachers, or leaving Christianity to go back to their former lives. Though it’s been two millennia since Paul wrote to the Galatians, modern people are still constantly deciding between similar choices whether they are aware of it or not, especially when conflicts and difficulties arise.

In the sermon this week, our sixth week in the The Gospel (verified) series, we’ll discuss how Paul instructs the Galatians to face this situation in Galatians 4:8-20. Join us at 9:30AM, 11:15AM, or 5:00PM tomorrow as we identify what we’re worshipping when we choose either of the two alternative paths, why we actually consider such options, and how continuous focus on the Gospel can help us persevere and even grow in our faith while facing such choices.

In Christ,
Andy Hoot
Resident Pastoral Intern, Mosaic Boston

Announcements:

Mosaic Boston: Jamaica Plain Monthly Preview Service, July 16. Mosaic Boston is starting a new church in Jamaica Plain, and they need help with their next preview service this Sunday, July 16. If you'd like to know more, email Ivey[at]MosaicBoston.com. Help with set up: 8:30am. Service starts: 10:30am.

Membership Class. Sunday, July 23rd. 1-3pm. If you are interested in becoming a member of Mosaic Boston, your first step is to join a community group, as commitment to a CG is a precondition for membership. The second step is to attend a membership class. Please sign up by emailing admin@mosaicboston.com

Childcare at the 11:15 service. The amazing volunteers of Mosaic now offer childcare during the 11:15 service, in addition to Mini-Mosaic at the 9:30service. 

Mosaic Youth Group. Every Sunday, Mosaic holds a youth group gathering during the 9:30service. If you know anyone looking for a youth group, let them know!

Pre-service Prayer. Join us in the upper hallway of the Temple Ohabei Shalom for a time of pre-service prayer on Sundays at 8:45AM and 4:30PM. It's an opportunity for us to pray for the church, the city, and the world.

Mosaic Boston App. Did you know Mosaic has an app? You can download it here

Songs for Sunday. If you would like to know what we'll be singing on Sunday (so you can be ready to sing your heart out!) you can find the playlist here

Give to Fund the Mission. Giving is a joyful and sacrificial act of worship to our Lord, who has given everything to us and for us. We offer you the opportunity to invest in God's mission here. The easiest way to give your tax-deductible gift is through our secure portal on our website, found here. 

New Series: The Gospel, Verified

New Series: The Gospel, Verified

The search for truth about God has always been a struggle, because Satan is the great counterfeiter. He has false gospels, preached by false ministers, producing false Christians. Satan plants his counterfeits wherever God plants true believers. Jesus warned: “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves." Therefore, every Christian must practice spiritual discernment. How can we intuitively spot false gospels? We need to know the true Gospel inside and out. 

Wisdom & Suffering

Wisdom & Suffering

Tomorrow, we finish up our "Adulting" series, by talking about wisdom and suffering. We've looked at what the ancient wisdom literature teaches us about navigating some of the most consequential areas of life: sex, money, relationships, self-control, and work. One of the things we learned about the book of Proverbs, in particular, is the wisdom literature gives us principles and probabilities, not necessarily promises. Tomorrow we ask the question: if I pursue wisdom in every area of life, why do I still experience setbacks, disappointment, and sometimes, even, suffering. Why do bad things happen to wise people? In order to live life as an adult, instead of as a pouty child when things don't go as planned, you need a robust practical theology of suffering.

Adulting: Wisdom & Work

Adulting: Wisdom & Work

Tomorrow, we continue our "Adulting" series by talking about work. Preparing for a job, getting a job, and keeping a job are all part of growing up. Since work takes up so much of our lives, and so much of our lives depends on our work, the ancient wisdom literature of Holy Scripture has lots to say about it. The ancient wisdom literature teaches that work is a good gift from God. Ecclesiastes 2:24 says "There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil." Do you find enjoyment in your work? 

Adulting: Wisdom & Self-control

Adulting: Wisdom & Self-control

I could bore you with a mountain of statistics proving that our society has a problem with self-control, but you already know. You know, because we all struggle with self-control. We struggle with controlling our impulses, urges, and desires. We struggle with controlling our emotions and feelings. We struggle with our appetites. 
 

Adulting: Wisdom for Family & Friends

Adulting: Wisdom for Family & Friends

Nothing has shaped you, and nothing will shape you, more than your family and friends. Just think about how much of who you are, and where you are, is a direct result of your family and best friends. Not only do the closest people in your life form the person you become, but they are also the source of your greatest joys, or your greatest sorrows. 

Adulting: Financial Wisdom

Adulting: Financial Wisdom

According to a recent comprehensive study funded by Bank of America and USA Today, when millennials were asked to define adulthood in their own words, the most common response was achieving financial independence. For most young people, economic accomplishments outweigh more traditional milestones like getting married, moving out on their own, or graduating from high school or college. It's hard to feel like an adult when mom and dad are paying for everything. 
 

Adulting: Sexual Wisdom

Adulting: Sexual Wisdom

We live in an age of colossal confusion regarding the most important and consequential areas of life. Since our society can't tell us who we really are, it certainly can't offer much helpful advice in terms of how we are to live. We hear clichés like: "follow your heart or your dreams," and "do whatever makes you happy" and "just do you (unless your an axe-murder)" and "do what feels good." Our most elite and expensive schools don't offer much guidance in how we are to live. So we turn to social commentators, political pundits, life coaches and gurus, celebrities, and comedians. The problem is, most of them haven't figured out this whole life thing either... though they have figured out ways to make money peddling life-advice to the rest of us... so kudos to them for that. 

New Series: "Adulting"

New Series: "Adulting"

Are you good at life? How are your life skills? Got the whole "adult" thing down pat? How's your "adulting" IQ?

Let's take a quick inventory. Can you change a tire? Know how to check your car's oil? How about the tire pressure? Know how to get your car registered and inspected on time? Do you know how to interview? Do you know how to keep a job? Do you have a plan for your career advancement?

Good Friday & Easter Sunday

Good Friday & Easter Sunday

I'm just sending out this email as a quick reminder that we have our annual Good Friday service today at 7pm. Also, Easter is on Sunday. We'll hold all three of our regular services at 9:30am, 11:15am, and 5pm. Additionally, Mosaic Boston, JP will be holding their first service on Easter at 10:30am at 493 Centre St in Jamaica Plain. If you can come help them set up at 7:30am on Sunday, they would really appreciate that! 

Jesus: apart from me you can do nothing

Jesus: apart from me you can do nothing

As we continue our sermon series through the "I Am" statements of Jesus Christ, we get to one of his most astonishing statement in the Gospel of John, chapter 15. In the context of proclaiming himself as the life-source of the universe ("I am the true vine"), Jesus shockingly says, "apart from me you can do nothing." Now, that's a staggering statement to make! Nothing? At first glance, there appear to be many things, many people do daily, apart from Jesus.

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it

One of my favorite hymns is "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," penned by the 18th century pastor Robert Robinson in 1757. What's surprising is that he wrote this brilliant hymn at the age of 22 (oh the things that were accomplished before the constant stream of distractions offered by the Internet!). One of the motifs in the hymn that stirs my heart every time I sing it, is that of Jesus the Shepherd, and me as a dumb, helpless, wandering sheep.