Dear Praying Friends,
Happy Advent season to you all! Today I had the opportunity to open up our Advent Series by preaching on Christ – the Coming of the True and Greater Prophet. The gospel is filled with hope, but the hope that comes in the advent of Christ only comes in light of the horror of our own hearts. While this was one of the more difficult sermons I had to preach for a variety reasons, it definitely refreshed my heart as I prepared. I was reminded that as Christians we really do have the best message we can offer this world, but it is a hope that can only come through the faithful proclamation of facing the horror of our sin. In a culture, especially in Boston, where we don’t like to be told what’s wrong with us, I was personally reminded that facing the sin in and around us is perhaps more important than ever.
About a month ago it was a special treat to have Pat and Jeanne Freeman visit the church on a Sunday I was preaching. They came with their son Daniel shortly before rushing to the airport to catch their flight back home. We felt very supported and loved that they would carve out the time to visit and worship with us. It was a reminder of God’s provision and care, especially from our supporters and friends back “home.” While Boston, MA already feels home in many ways we do miss our friends and the relationships we have left behind. We are grateful to feel ongoing support from people like the Freemans and Intown Community Church.
Weeks ago I had the opportunity to also preach a sermon entitled “Where the Truth Lies” which was an exploration of the ninth commandment. One of the things that I focused on is how as a church we are inclined to “posing” and pretending to be better than we really are. I really do think this is a problem that is prevalent to all of mankind. A lot of the sermon was heavily influenced from various Wellspring Retreats which I attended as part of Intown. I remember God had been faithful to put certain men in my life to help heal parts of my life that not only needed to be exposed, but to be healed. Because of what Christ has done for us on the cross, bearing our humiliation and because of what he says about us, we can find the courage to take off our masks.
On the heels of that, both Kendra and myself have really enjoyed community group. We have both been extremely encouraged at the ongoing depths to which people have been sharing. People having been sharing their life and grace stories with our group and have been courageously taking off their own masks with each other. We are both strengthened to continue to bring our hearts to this church because we have both been pleasantly surprised at the risks that these men and women have been taking. Please pray for ongoing growth, community, fellowship, healing, and budding life in the community group. Please pray that I would be able to provide better guidance and leadership for all the community groups as a whole. I’ll update you on some challenges and ideas in another email. You can listen to the sermon entitled “Where the Truth Lies” here: https://steveyangboston.com/sermons/
One of the most exciting things for Kendra has been getting to know our neighborhood. Since the twins have switched schools, it seems like we are meeting new people all the time. Yesterday, we attended the Christmas Tree Lighting in our immediate neighborhood (Hyde Square) and we were amazed by how many people we ran into that we knew from school or from neighborhood shops and businesses. Kendra is loving being in a neighborhood where we can walk to friend’s houses and walk to school. Please pray for more relationships to develop and for urgency and courage for Kendra as she initiates conversations. Pray for Kendra as she begins the crazy season of Christmas celebrations and the twins’ birthday plans. Our apartment in Jamaica Plain is much smaller than our house in Atlanta, so she is struggling to find a venue to fit everyone we would like to attend. Space always seems to be an issue up here.
It hasn’t snowed up here yet but we all have our winter gear ready and are enjoying the brisk temperatures. There is nothing cuter than little kids in snow hats and snow boots! We so appreciate your continued prayers and are when its March and some of ya’ll are back in your flip flops, I wont lie, we may be a bit jealous!
Stevo & Kendra Yang
Jamaica Plain, MA
December 3rd, 2017