Since July last Summer we have used our funds collected in our change bucket to support a mission called EPIK based in Portland which is disrupting sex trafficking around the world. Founded by Tom Perez, EPIK and the 150 or so volunteers have been instrumental in lowering the incidences of trafficking. The Portland police are thrilled with the results. Guys encountered in the calls are forced to face the duplicity of their hearts and lives. The lie that “no one sees” gets exposed and in the light of day some of these guys are repenting and seeking help. This is incredible. The stories abound.
Tom will be coming to share with us on the 10th of March, the first Sunday in Lent. Fitting, since in Lent we will be walking with Jesus toward the cross, walking through the most famous sermon he ever gave, which was most likely a compilation of how he spoke wherever he went. This is found in Matthew 5-7. The beginning of this message, called the beatitudes, in Matthew 5, is famous also because it is so poetic in form. It is a series of “blesseds” which run counter to every cultural message then and now. Whereas the disciples might have been expecting a lecture on the best way to organize now that Jesus had a huge following, instead, Jesus began that the blessed ones were not the famous, popular, rich and healthy, but the “poor in spirit.” Blessed, happy, those filled with “sheer joy” are those who are poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Jesus didn’t begin a new religion that day, instead, He challenged his listeners to join in a whole new humanity.
As Tom encountered sex trafficking and the kind of men that created the demand, and encountered Jesus, and the kind of man Jesus was and the kind of way of life Jesus promoted in this passage, Tom became convinced that this passage was a template for a new kind of way for a man to be a man in society. He began to see in this passage a vital masculinity unlike what was practiced nor preached in the public forum.
Tom will share into this vision from this passage today. This is a don’t miss Sunday. Don’t miss fellowship with others. Don’t miss the connections. Don’t miss the opportunity to worship.