Eastbrook at Home – February 5, 2023


Join us for worship with Eastbrook Church through Eastbrook at Home at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM. This weekend we continue our preaching series entitled “In the Beginning” by exploring the role of humanity as stewards over God’s creation.

Here is a prayer for this Sunday from The Book of Common Prayer:

O Lord, our heavenly Father, keep your household the Church continually in your true religion, that we who trust in the hope of your heavenly grace may always be defended by your mighty power; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever.  Amen.

If you are able to do so, let me encourage you to join us for in-person services at 8:00, 9:30, and 11:00 AM this weekend at the Eastbrook Campus.

If you are new to Eastbrook, we want to welcome you to worship and would ask you to text EBCnew to 94000 as a first step into community here at Eastbrook.

Each Sunday at 8, 9:30, and 11 AM, you can participate with our weekly worship service at home with your small group, family, or friends. This service will then be available during the week until the next Sunday’s service starts. You can also access the service directly via Vimeo, the Eastbrook app, or Facebook.

If you are not signed up for our church emailing list, please sign up here. Also, please remember that during this time financial support for the church is critical as we continue minister within our congregation and reach out to our neighborhood, city, and the world at this challenging time. Please give online or send in your tithes and offerings to support the ministry of Eastbrook Church.

The Harvest is Plentiful: a reflection on Matthew 9

The harvest is plentiful:
the demon-possessed by the tombs in the Gadarenes,
the paralytic lowered through the roof,
the tax collector cast-offs like Matthew,
the girl who died and her grieving parents,
the woman with the twelve-year hemorrhage,
the blind men looking for sight,
the man with demonically-caused muteness,
the crowds listening at the seaside,
the unnamed afflicted and sick and hungry…

The harvest is plentiful.
So pray to the Lord for workers
to go and work in the fields.
See the fields of your lives
filled with people longing for God’s kingdom.
Listen to the cries of their souls
that rise up all around us.
Draw near like Jesus
to know them and name them,
to touch their lives with compassion,
and speak gracious words of God’s and truth.

Lift up prayers to God
and let God make you an answer to your prayers.
As we live and move and have our being in God,
may we also bring life in Christ to others
in the fields of God’s great harvest.

Five Elements of Waiting on God: insights from the life of Joseph

When looking at the life of Joseph in Genesis 40-41, I noticed some striking aspects about the timeline of Joseph’s journey.

Joseph was sold into slavery at 17 years of age according to Genesis 37:2. By the end of Genesis 41, Joseph is 30 years old (41:46). Two years pass between the end of chapter 40 and 41 (41:1), so roughly 10-11 years of Joseph’s life were spent in Potiphar’s house or in prison. It is likely that the majority of that time was spent in prison. Many of us grow tired waiting a day or two, or a week, or a month for God to show tangible answers to prayer. We wait for a response but grow tired when our waiting stretches for months or even years. If you are in that place take comfort from Joseph’s life. His descent into suffering left him in a holding pattern for nearly thirteen years. I’d like to share five elements of waiting on God that we can see from the life of Joseph and throughout Scripture. While his list is not exhaustive, I do believe that these elements are critical to us actively waiting on God.

  1. Waiting on God means believing God is still our God. Joseph’s words to the chief cupbearer and the chief baker help us see that even though he suffered he did not give up his faith that YHWH God is still God. This theme is echoed in the psalms: “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation” (Psalm 62:1-2, ESV). In seasons of suffering we are tempted to put ourselves or other people or things into the place only God deserves. Certainly we need trusted friends and other resources during these times but we must hold onto the reality that God is still the King even in our suffering.
  2. Waiting on God means actively calling out to God. We cannot take for granted the power and vitality found by pouring our hearts out to God in prayer. “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1). When we call out to God, He draws near to us, even in the times of long waiting or extended suffering.
  3. Waiting on God means drawing strength from the Lord. Like a seed planted in the soil whose roots extend deep before any green breaks the soil’s surface, or like a dormant fruit tree draws nutrients before any fruit graves the limbs, so in our spiritual lives we must draw upon the strength that God gives. This is perhaps even more true in the extended times of suffering or waiting. We cannot make it without God’s strength. “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:30-31).
  4. Waiting on God means moving forward by faith even when we cannot see. We must move in obedience to what we already know and not do nothing. Joseph did not sulk in some hidden hallway or back room of Potiphar’s house or the prison when he suffered. Instead, we see that he stepped forward, eventually rising to responsible positions in both places. Wallowing in self-pity does not lead you there. Rather we must live out what the Apostle Paul wrote to an early church: “for we walk by faith and not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
  5. Waiting on God means letting God build perseverance and maturity into us. An athlete who wants to become stronger must work to the very edge of their ability in order to move beyond that. The same is true with a pianist or an engineer or a businessperson. It is a life principle that growth comes through stretching ourselves. That same principle applies to life with God. We will not grow spiritual muscles or produce greater fruit for God in our lives without being stretched in our discipleship. The Apostle James writes about that truth this way: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4). Joseph experiences a transformation of perseverance and maturity that arises because he has actively walked with God in the midst of his suffering and waiting.

Joseph waits on the Lord and we see God do a new work in Joseph’s life. So, too, in our lives God will do new things in our lives as we wait upon Him in the midst of our seasons of suffering.

“The Creation of Humanity” (Genesis 1 and 2)

This past weekend at Eastbrook, we continued our preaching series entitled “In the Beginning,” drawn from Genesis 1-3. This is the first part of a two-part series on Genesis 1-11 that will stretch from January through Lent up to Easter. This fourth week of the series, Pastor Ruth Carver preached about the creation of humanity from Genesis 1 and 2.

You can find the message outline and video below. You can access the entire series here. Join us for weekend worship in-person or remotely via Eastbrook at Home.

So God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)

The Creation of Humanity – Big Picture (Genesis 1:26-31)

  • God made mankind in His own image (Imago Dei).
    • God made them to rule over all other living things.
    • God made them male and female.
  • It was very good.

The Creation of Humanity – Zeroing in for a Closer Look (Genesis 2:5-24)

  • God formed the first man from the dust of the earth.
  • God gave him work to do.
  • God saw that something was lacking.
  • God formed the first woman.
  • God established marriage.

A Biblical View of Humanity

  • Human beings are not accidents.
  • People are more important than the environment.
  • God created the two sexes, male and female.
  • Our purpose as human beings is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever”.

Dig Deeper

This week dig deeper in one or more of the following ways:

  • Watch Noel Paul Stookey singing his Wedding Song inspired in part by Genesis chapter 2
  • Watch and listen to portions of Franz Joseph Haydn’s Creation (Die Schöpfung): Adam and Eve’s duet segment (in German with English supertitles starting at 1:19:21) and the wonderful chorus, “The Heavens Are Telling” (in English)
  • Listen to the imaginative meditation-sermon by James Weldon Johnson called “The Creation” from his 1927 sermon compilation, God’s Trombones