Good morning church, It's good to be home. I want to thank you for all the prayers and cards, for the emails and texts. Last week was a challenging week as I sought to come alongside of my brother Scott, and my niece Julia, with God's love. I got to know Sarah's family on a much deeper level, as I listened to them tell her story. Their witness to Christ, in the midst of such deep sorrow was an encouragement. So again, thank you to everyone, including God, into whose hands I place my brother and niece, as they move forward in life without a wife and a mother. I will return to offering thoughts on our daily bible reading plan, tomorrow. For this morning, I will include the prayer and devotional that Nicole has prepared. Grace and peace to you all.
LET'S PRAY TOGETHER Lord, let our souls rise up to meet you as the day rises to meet the sun. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Today, Lord we lift up the people of Puerto Rico, Nepal, Peru, Slovakia and Tunisia. Lord, encourage the church in these countries and bring love and truth to the lost. Be with the healthcare workers who are weary, the parents who are worried, and all who are sick during the pandemic. May the peace of the Lord Christ go with us: wherever He may send us; may You guide us through the wilderness: protect us through the storm; may You bring us home rejoicing: at the wonders You have shown us; may You bring us home rejoicing once again into our doors. Amen
MEDITATION “…(God) has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. (2 Corinthians 5:19-20 NIV) I number each meditation that I write when I save them on my laptop. I started doing it out of habit, but as the weeks have rolled by it is becoming necessary so I can check to be sure I haven’t started telling you the same stories twice. Last Monday I saved the meditation as “FPCS Covid 19 message 99”. That’s right, ninety-nine! And I was contemplating what I would write for the hundredth meditation as I went about my day, until I got a call from Mike. “Scott called, Sarah has been in a bad accident, it doesn’t look good.” In that moment all my plans for the day, that night, for the week went out the window. We found out that Sarah had passed on within the next hour. It was wrenching to go from the mundane hustle of the everyday to facing the big realities of life and death and the minutia of getting out to Philly to be with family; holding a sobbing and wailing daughter and then feeding the pigs. Yet God is with us, He is faithful and present even though, “we walk through the valley of the shadow of death”. What was so powerful to me over this past week was seeing reconciliation at work as I observed my husband, his brother, his parents, and Sarah’s parents and family. Jesus Christ has transformed lives, He has brought brothers together, parents and children together. Jesus is able to restore broken relationships and open doors to new ways of relating. Before the pandemic it was easy to “go to church”, “do devotions”, and go through the motions of faith out of habit, but now God is giving us an opportunity to re-engage in our faith. Life is short and uncertain. There are no guarantees. Don’t get me wrong, God is good, all the time, but His ways are not our ways and He definitely does not do things the way I want them done. Each day is a chance to reconcile broken relationships, to seek God more earnestly, love your neighbor, listen to the lonely. In all the “sound and fury” of this world there is unlimited power in grace, kindness, forgiveness, and love. We are each ambassadors of Christ, every day, on a mission of reconciliation, don’t wait, today may be all you have.
DAILY SCRIPTURE READING
Our daily scripture reading comes from the following link… http://listenersbible.com/devotionals/biy/ If you have any insights into our daily readings, please feel free to share them with me. I would encourage you to visit https://bibleproject.com/explore/1-2-chronicles/ for an overview of Chronicles and https://bibleproject.com/explore/1-corinthians/ for an overview of the letter that Paul sent to the church in Corinth. These videos will help with the “big picture” and the main themes.