Therefore, when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
There may be no more powerful words in all of scripture than these three words uttered by Jesus. A single word in Greek (tetelestai), the expression was actually quite common. Pastor and popular Christian author, Warren Wiersbe, notes, “The word tetelestai is unfamiliar to us, but it was used by various people in everyday life… a servant would use it when reporting [a completed work assignment] to his or her master… when an artist completed a picture, or a writer a manuscript, he or she might say [it].”1 Dr. Edwin Blum, former Professor at Dallas Theological Seminary, highlights the legal/clerical uses of the word, stating, “Papyri receipts for taxes have been recovered with the word tetelestai written across them, meaning ‘paid in full.’”2 When Jesus said this common phrase it took on extraordinary meaning. He had paid our debt in full. Through faith in Jesus, our accounts have been reconciled for good. This is the basis for our hope, the basis for our salvation.
However, at the time Jesus exclaimed this important phrase there was little rejoicing. Those who had believed Jesus was the Messiah had expected Him to rise to a kingly prominence, overthrowing Roman oppression and restoring Israel. They had high expectations of Jesus and in His death, their world came tumbling down. If this man who could command the wind and the sea, who could heal the sick, and who could feed thousands could be crucified by the Romans, what did that mean for His followers? Hope was seemingly lost, and most of the Disciples went into hiding. It was Friday, but Sunday was coming…
On Sunday morning, everything changed. Their disappointment in lost expectations, their fear of what the future holds, their confused sense of personal identity, all were erased with a second phrase of three words: “He has risen” (Mt 28:6, Lk 24:6, Mk 16:6). Hope was restored and even in the face of trouble, that hope drove the disciples to spread the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
This Easter season there are many (both believers and non-believers) who are facing lost expectations, fear of the future, and confusion. The days seem dark and hopes are dwindling. Hold onto the hope of the finished work of Jesus. Hold onto the hope that even though the outcome of this trial is uncertain, our position and identity in Jesus is certain.
During this time let’s continue to Be The Church to each other, encouraging one another in love and being there to support each other. We have a list of virtual resources that you can consider to keep connected in community with other believers during this time of social distancing. Many churches are offering Good Friday and Easter Sunday services online so that we can still gather together even when we are apart. Furthermore, please let us know how we can pray for you, how we can help you, or if you just need someone to talk to. Finally, let’s show love to those who may not know Jesus, and are losing hope during this difficult time.
We are here for you and we love you. He is Risen!
The CCEM Team
1 Warren W. Wiersbe, The Bible Exposition Commentary, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1996), 384.
2 Edwin A. Blum, “John,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 340.
“and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
As we continue to battle COVID-19, we know that now more than ever how important it is to Be The Church to each other. We need to continue to maintain smart social distancing as a way to love our neighbors, family and friends, as well as a way to continue battling this disease. Fortunately, today’s technology allows us to continue meeting together, while not being physically together.
The CCEM Team wants to provide some virtual resources for you as opportunities to continue meeting together in a safe, socially distant way while at home.
CCEM Bible Studies/Prayer Groups – Many of our Bible Study and Prayer Groups continue to meet virtually through various platforms. If interested, please contact one of our study leads to get the latest virtual meeting information. (Visit Bible Studies/Prayer Groups Page)
Alpha has also moved to a weekly prayer call during our time off campus. To get connected with the Alpha prayer call, please contact Garrett Shaw or goto/Alpha.
Local Churches – Many local churches are currently broadcasting their sermons live on Sundays, as well as hosting small groups and ministry events virtually during the week. Check our Churches list for links to various local churches that members of our community are connected with. Visit church websites for opportunities to connect virtually.
Grace Center of Spiritual Development – GCSD is a local organization that offers Bible Studies, Leadership Training, Devotionals, and Podcasts for free. GCSD is promoting a new 2 week live virtual study on Habakkuk starting next Wednesday, April 8th at lunch (information here); as well as a 3 week virtual Biblical Leadership Seminar Series Starting Tuesday March 31, 6:30 – 8:30 pm (information here). View previous GCSD content and more at Grace Center of Spiritual Development Website
Toolbox Lunch – Toolbox Lunches are having a virtual meeting on April 1 with their Executive Director. Learn more about the event here and more about Toolbox Lunches from their website http://www.toolboxlunches.com/
Christians in Commerce – CIC is an organization focused on bringing Christ into the workplace. The have a library of stories of how individuals have reflected Christ at work. Visit their Christ Alive! Testimonies Webpage.
Pope Francis’s Urbi et Orbi: Pope Francis delivers an extraordinary blessing “To the City and to the World” on Friday to pray for an end to the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. In his meditation, the Pope reflects on Jesus’ words to His disciples: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” See more here.
Dear Catholic Faith Study Friends,
Our next topic will be on the subject of suffering (3 classes, maybe 4, not sure how quickly we will get through the material) based on the book written by Peter Kreeft, “Making Sense Out of Suffering.”
In these lessons we will cover the deep and profound questions we have such as the following:
• Why do I have to suffer?
• If God is all-powerful and all-loving then why does he permit evil to exist?
• Does my suffering have meaning?
• Why do bad things happen to me?
• What is the answer to all these questions about suffering?
When: Thursdays: February 20th, 27th and March 5th
I will send the class notes to the meeting group. Hope you can join us in person or on Skype!
People of all faiths are welcome!
Contact Henry Avila (email@example.com) to be added to the distribution list.
As we start a new year, we would like to take a moment to praise God for His blessing on the last GDOP.
We were able to join in prayer with EM brothers & sisters from around the world: 49 sites (3 new) in over 30 countries! We are excited to watch God’s provision and continue growth of this event and also the community it creates!
The photos above are the selfies that we’ve received. Take a moment to look at all of the smiling faces and reflect on how powerful our God is – that he can unite people around the world for His purposes.
Finally, we would like to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who was involved in planning for and organizing GDOP in 2019. This event could not happen without the investment of your time and energy.
We look forward to GDOP 2020. Are you interested in serving with GDOP? If so, please click on the survey below, & we will reach out with more information.
Over a decade ago, a few ExxonMobil (EM) employees from Asia gathered at the Prayer Mountains in Seoul to pray for God to raise a community of believers at EM who can bring about significant changes for His glory. This was the birth of Global Day of Prayer (GDOP), an annual event where EM Christian communities in 40+ sites, 20+ countries gather virtually to pray in unison. Join us again for 2019 GDOP! Date: 10/25/2019 Time: 6:30 – 8:00 AM (Central Standard Time) Location at EMHC: E3.1B.306/326/276 Add the event to your calendar If you are unable to attend in person and would like the skype link, please email Aria Sawicki (firstname.lastname@example.org). View your site’s GDOP Site Contact
Thank you so much for joining us in the 2018 Global Day of Prayer (GDOP).
Praise the Lord for a wonderful time of worship and we are really blessed for the opportunity to pray with brothers and sisters at ExxonMobil. Even though we were challenged by technical difficulties, God is with us and many were touched by the prayers from all the different nations and cultures.
This year, several new sites such as Tangerang Indonesia and Bogota Colombia have joined us and we are excited to have 700+ contacts on our devotional distribution list and over 350 people from more than 40 sites participated in the GDOP. Below you will find all the selfies from our fellow believers around the world (Do keep the selfies coming!). 🙂
We want to thank Tom Schuessler and Alicia Foo for taking time from their busy schedules to be part of the GDOP. In addition, a special thanks to our faithful GDOP Team who coordinate the global event, putting the materials together and setting up the local meetings. Regional leads, please forward this email to all the site leads and let’s continue to keep in touch and encourage one another.
We have also received great feedback to continue improving the event and please don’t hesitate to share your suggestions with us.
>40 ExxonMobil sites, >25 countries Praying in unison
Thursday, Oct 25, 6:30-8:00am
Campus Location: Mediterranean Meeting Center (EMHC/S1.1A.425/455)
Hughes Landing Location: HHL/W.06.N122
Over a decade ago, a few EM employees from Asia gathered at the Prayer Mountains in Seoul to pray for God to raise a community of believers in EM who can bring about significant changes for His glory. This was the birth of GDOP, an annual event where Christian communities in 40+ ExxonMobil sites, 25+ countries gather virtually to pray in unison after a 40-day countdown with sharing of devotional materials and prayer needs from various sites. Join us again for 2018 GDOP on the theme “Trust Him First”.