In Abundance John 6:1-14

“Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for them to get a little.”

John 6:7

 

There are times in everyone’s life when life seems overwhelming. No matter what we may have, it will never be enough. How can we make ends meet? Will the sun ever shine again? It is hard at times to see God in the midst of our lives when life is not going as planned. Yet the love God has for each of us goes beyond our shortcomings, beyond our uncertainties, beyond our feeling that all is lost, and beyond even this life. Jesus came into a world of imperfection, and to lives that often times are uncertain and scary. Sometimes we may even ask “why” or “how,” with each of our questions initially going unanswered. Yet God has a way of making a highway out of no way, hope when all seems hopeless. In the midst of our questions and doubts, God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, stands alongside of us and often times carries us through the storms of life. When Jesus fed the multitudes with just a few loaves and fish, all were fed with more available. Give Jesus space to work in your life, no matter how impossible the circumstance seems to be and no matter how much you doubt anything can be done. Jesus gives in abundance even and especially when all seems lost. Thank you Jesus, for your eternal presence in our lives; open our eyes so we may see blessings we have received even when we think there are no more available.
 

 Pastor Tom



Proclaim Luke 8:26-39

“Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.”

Luke 8:39

American Express proclaims in its advertising, “membership has its privileges.” So what about the Body of Christ, the church; what does it offer that can be found nowhere else; what “privileges” come with being a part of something that has been around for millennia, from the beginning of time? Jesus calls us to “consider” the beauty of the lilies and the love from God that created the world that is around us. When God touches our lives, we are called to consider God’s presence, but not just for our benefit but especially for the benefit of others. The blessing of membership in the holy Body of Christ is the privilege to proclaim God’s grace to those who may be challenged in this life, or have a feeling of being alone, lost, or marginalized. Faith is to be used, and God’s presence is intended to be shared; proclaimed. God uses all sorts of people to proclaim the Good News of the saving grace of Jesus Christ and they all have one thing in common; they are not perfect. In fact, quite the opposite; the people God chooses to serve and proclaim have challenges to be sure but also lean on the “everlasting arms” of Jesus to equip and empower them. Jesus calls each of us to “Go!” Go let folks know what God is doing in the world. Go let people know that God’s grace is intended especially for those who are “weary and carrying heavy burdens.” Go tell the community beyond the walls of the church that our strength comes from the Lord and that strength is given through those who journey with us as part of the church. Go tell about God who loves “me,” even and especially “me;” the same love that loves you, especially you. People need to know the “privileges” of living a life of faith and proclaiming God’s love to the world. Here are just some of the privileges offered by God; joy, peace, hope, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and the affirmation that you will never be alone and that God will be with you always, “even to the end of the age.” Thank you Jesus for the privilege of being your child and part of your Holy Body, the church, where all are welcome, no exceptions.
Pastor Tom


Beyond the Miraculous John 4:46-54

“The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and started on his way.”

John 4:50

  We are a people who demand proof; words are meaningless without results. Jesus performed many miracles, including miraculous healings, yet the story does not end with the miracle, rather the miracle only sheds light on the path beyond it. Miracles abound to be sure; they are seen, celebrated and often times relegated to the storehouse of memories. The proof of what Jesus can do is in the miracle itself, whether a healing or feeding the multitudes with a few loaves of bread and some dried fish. But life does not stop at the point of the miraculous, it only begins. When we begin to fully appreciate the presence of God in the miracles around us, then we begin to feel our relationship strengthen with God. Some demand signs and proof, but what is truly needed is Jesus. Soaking up miracles is a great thing, there is no doubt. Some call those times mountaintop experiences; they do not happen often, but when they do, God is revealed in amazing ways. How often do we stop once the proof of God’s presence is revealed? How often do we move on from the time of witnessing the miraculous to doing what we have always done? If we see the miracles around us as signs pointing to the continuing presence of God in our lives, then we will more understand the gift that has been received. Miracles are a lot like grace, we do not deserve them but they keep coming our way. Look beyond what Jesus is doing in your life to see who Jesus truly is and experience, in the words of Cory Asbury, the “overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God.” God is good, all the time.
 

 Pastor Tom