Sin, Spirit Fruit, Plowing

Psalm 77:11-20, Galatians 5:13-25 and Luke 9:51-62

People attend, participate in, and serve through the church for numerous reasons. Some we are fully aware of and others are buried deep. Both have long histories.

Certainly in praying, singing, hearing scripture and sermon, we are investing in a way of life. It will often seem to be very different in emphasis and detail from those who never appear in the ongoing life of the church. Our service to others and our fellowship may look quite different

We hesitate to judge. We simply note the “fruit of the Spirit” as in Galatians 5. Where and when does it appear? If in church life, we rejoice. If outside church life, we rejoice! God is not bound by time, place, or people.

Yet, where are we to be reminded most often of “the abundant life” as well as those things which work against the fullness of life? I think you know well. Of course, God moves throughout the world and we can learn about Sin and the Spirit in all of human endeavors, e.g., secular life, workplaces, communities, recreation, education, and government.

Our scriptures provide us this Sunday with familiar lists of Spirit led life and Flesh driven life. We listen in, remember, and learn accordingly. Jesus finally says “keep going” and really…..don’t spend a lot of time looking backward. Memories are important but present and future is where your Eternal dwelling is to be. Having “put your hand to the plow…..don’t look back.” Onward~~~~

Prayers and thanksgiving for God’s blessings!

Pastor Barry †

Fathers, Families, and Forces Faith Has to Fight!

I Kings 8:12-21, Galatians 3:23-29 and Luke 8:26-39

Fathers Day arrives in our churches and we remember and celebrate! What often goes unsaid is the struggle of being a Father, a parent, a family member with all the forces that work against being faithful to those roles and identities.

The Luke text doesn’t quite seem to fit for the emphasis on Father’s Day does it? It’s the assigned Lectionary text and I first thought too hard to work with! As I read it over and over, tho, I was moved to consider that the demon possessed man here had a father or WAS a father! Often, the scriptures offer to us an opportunity to consider what else lies behind the story presented to us.

Does the healed man return to his family, to his father, or to his own children? What might we expect to occur when one has been made whole by the power of God? What changes in relationships when we are made better by the hand of God?!

We will hear what God would lay on our hearts through these scriptures, our songs of praise, our service, and our fellowship! There is no Sunday worship that goes without these elements!

Consider your place in your extended family and include your church family in that consideration. You belong and wholeness is ever a renewing gift from God in those relationships.

Pray for the people of God gathered and then in mission and ministry!

Grace, peace, and healing~~~

Pastor Barry †

June Memories and Missions

Psalm 8:1-9, Romans 5:1-5 and John 16:12-15

So much to say, not enough time! Our second Sunday in June has a number of themes to focus upon. Peace With Justice, the Trinity, First Sunday After the Birth of the Church (Pentecost), The TNWK Annual Conference beginning June 15! These will be mentioned, noted, and hopefully received as both mission and encouragement.

And two more: D-Day June 6, 1944 and June 6, 1742, the latter when John Wesley was not allowed to preach from his late father’s church and he went and preached from his father’s tomb!

Somehow these can all be tied together! Our departure point will be tying the two June 6th dates together as powerful moments of both sadness, struggle, and yet hope in the victory of God. We are to be people of Hope not despair as much around us today would pull us into no Hope.

Paul is clear. We have hope because “Gods love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.” Jesus says we have the “Spirit of Truth” to lead us. Psalm 8 says God has crowned us a with a certain “glory and honor.”

We should be encouraged! So, as much as needs to be said this Sunday just keep your hearts open to what God wants YOU to hear and respond to. We will grow as disciples of Jesus as well as go and make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world!

Pray in preparation!

Pastor Barry †

On The Mend

Acts 2:1-8, 12

Reading the Acts 2 text is exciting. Relating to the Acts 2 text in 2022 is more challenging. Most of us have not had anywhere near the experiences described from the first century church’s beginnings.

But few would say they have never had an encounter or spiritual moment which moved them in meaningful ways. Life in the church often surprises us with powerful feelings about ourselves, God, and neighbor.

And the most experienced outcome of Pentecost for us is the reality of being supported in all our days by the Spirit as Comforter and Advocate. In any age of the Church, the “fruit of the Spirit” is welcome: “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…….” As Paul says, “there is no law against these things!”

As I write this, I am still recovering from knee replacement surgery. I am also mindful of how many in our congregations are dealing with matters of illness, injury, loss and recovery. Changes in our lives can come suddenly or over long stretches of time. We are promised a Helper. The One who comes to us in so many ways and through the care of others us the Spirit in power to sustain us.

As you participate in worship this Pentecost Sunday, whether in the sanctuary or whether at home or care facility, remember: the Spirit is with you to Comfort and Help. Give thanks and praise. Pray in the Spirit for others as well

Praise, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!!

Pastor Barry †