Celebrate Jesus August 8, 2022

Celebrate Jesus!

Pastor Tom Joyce

August 8, 2022

 

“For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one Body in Christ, and individually we are members one of another.”

Romans 12:4,5

 

“I can’t do anything anymore; I used to cook, teach Sunday School and even sing in the choir but not now…” This saint of the church was despondent because she still wanted to serve but could not do what she felt God called her to do in the church.  There is no doubt that there will be a time in our lives where what we were once able to do is now historical reference. Yet, that does not mean God’s call has grown silent; we are “members of one another.” In other words, no matter what you think of your present circumstance, and though what you do for the Lord may have changed a bit, your witness to others is still part of the fabric of the church and indispensable. So back to the person lamenting this new chapter that is now open. Every Sunday, no matter the weather, season, or ballgame being played, she walked slowly up to the first row of the sanctuary, left side, and took her seat. The rest of those in the sanctuary waited for her to arrive and celebrated her presence. No, she could no longer teach Sunday School or bake a pie but she could witness the grace and power of our Lord Jesus Christ with her presence and her joy. You are exceedingly important to the lives of those along your path, more important than you will ever know, because you are important and beloved by Jesus more than you will ever know.  The community of faith is made up of all kinds of people, blessed with different and incredible gifts to offer.  This is the Body of Christ, the church, a firm foundation built by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.  You are welcome and part of the Body of Christ. No matter the chapter of your life, your witness is needed, celebrated, and cherished. 



Celebrate Jesus August 1, 2022

Celebrate Jesus!

Pastor Tom Joyce

August 1, 2022

 

“This is my body, which is given for you.”

Luke 22:19

 

When Jesus sat with his disciples on the night before he was crucified, he offered them and us a gift of new life. The crushing burden of sin was overcome by Jesus on the cross so we may live a life bathed in mercy, grace, and peace. The sacrament of Holy Community binds us together with Jesus, each other, and all those who are now in heaven. Think of the church as the “Body of Christ,” a group of people bound together by God to share a whole new way of living and seeing the world and the people God has put on our path.  Jesus said through his body and blood we are part of a new covenant. (Luke 22:20) In other words, you are invited and welcomed by Jesus into a life of joy and peace, bound together with Jesus and those who journey with you along the journey of faith. When you consider the church, think about it not in terms of a building but of a community of people who have been welcomed, and who welcome others, to experience the joy of being set free from all those things that keep them from living a life that God intended from the beginning of time; a life of joy and peace.  Jesus is new life, and you are invited.  Thank you Jesus.



Celebrate Jesus! July 25, 2022

“Celebrate Jesus!”
by Pastor Tom Joyce,
July 25, 2022
 
Scripture: “If it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”  -Romans 12:18
 
 

Romans 12:9-21 is a blueprint for living a new life in Christ focusing on loving God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength as well as loving our neighbor as ourselves. Yet one verse sticks out as one often neglected; “if it is possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12:18) So often we live peaceably with others as long as they live up to our standards, beliefs, and practices.  We wait for another, often times with disdain and arms folded, for our neighbor, friend, or even family member to conform to how we think and what we do. Yet being a neighbor is all about being Christ to another, sharing the Good News in how we live our lives in Christ. Living peaceably with our neighbor is about sharing the peace of Christ, letting “love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.” (Romans 12:9-10) Living “life in Christ” is not easy but the burden is lessened when we lay down our standards we set for others and strive towards living the standard that Christ has set for us. Celebrate the new life Jesus the Christ has offered you through sharing the same gift with your neighbor; you will be blessed and you are a blessing. Thank you Jesus offering us new life filled with hope, joy, grace, and the peace that surpasses all understanding!