WS Update: Stormy Days

January 24, 2022

This past week in the NY Times there was an article entitled “Your Kid’s Existential Dread Is Normal” in which a parent wrote about her 9 year old daughter’s question about whether COVID would ever end.  It was an occasion for the mom to reflect on her daughter’s transition into young adulthood in which she was now at an age when children begin to question their own existence, self-identity, and the meaning of life. As I mentioned in yesterday’s sermon, the pandemic is one of the many storms in life that remind us of our own mortality and become occasions to make or break us. In Jonah’s case, God used his rebellion and dire circumstances to awaken him to the danger of following his heart instead of God’s word. In other words, as Dallas Willard wrote:

It is only in the heat of pain and suffering, both mental and physical, that real human character is forged.

The point is that you can’t develop the character you admire in others and want in yourself without the storms.  You can’t develop courage without danger; patience without trials; wisdom without failures; endurance without inclines or integrity without temptation.  The story of Jonah reminds us that what we often, but not always, find in the storms of life is divine love, the ultimate evidence of which is the storm Jesus experienced for us on the cross in which the suffering and death of God brought redemption and hope to those who are called according to his purpose.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

Romans 8:28

Here is a letter written by John Newton that is a pastoral and wise resource as you face your storms this week. 

Following Jesus

This class gives us a foundation to live on as a follower of Jesus and helps us understand the greater Christian story we are part of.

Launch a new or enhanced life of following Jesus. Gain practices that navigate a lifetime of discipleship by learning how people grow at Redeemer West Side.

Coming Up

  • Discover your spiritual gifts, Feb 2: APEST is a spiritual gift framework from Ephesians 4. Paul says Jesus has given apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers—hence the acronym APEST. After registering, you’ll be given instructions on how to take the brief online assessment.
  • Become a member of RWS, Feb 6: Our Membership Class helps you learn the gospel theology and ministry of Redeemer West Side. WE cover what’s behind the five membership vows, how a PCA church is led, and how members step into our sacred call to love our neighbors and heal our city.
  • Getting married?, Feb 12: Plan on attending Redeemer’s Premarital Seminar. You don’t have to be engaged to participate in the seminar. Even if you’ve just begun considering the possibility of marriage, this is a powerful way to discover whether you should continue in your relationship. This seminar is a lively day of biblical teaching on marriage, exercises that help a couple learn more about each other, and ending with a time of Q&A. 
  • Stock grocery shelves in Brooklyn: Recovery House of Worship runs a weekly Saturday morning food pantry for Brooklyn neighbors in need. On Friday evenings, volunteers are needed to organize and fill shelves with grocery items.
  • Get prayer requests from HFNY affiliate partners: Hope for New York’s affiliate partners need your prayers! Sign up for a quarterly “Pray for Our City” newsletter that shares detailed prayer requests from various affiliates.