Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies. —1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Yesterday I had the honor of officiating at Andrew and Hannah Leighton's wedding. As they stood there in the presence of God, each in their own way saying, they were ready to give everything they have for the other. In reality they both understood that their dying to self would make the "we" stronger. It is not that they are losing the individualism but it is the acknowledgment that the individual is stronger when given away.
In our relationship with God we too must make a choice to who we are living for, who we belong to and who our true audience is. Christ tells us He is the groom and we are His bride. Do you live your one and only life as if you are the only one who matters? Or are you living as heirs of the Kingdom giving all you have as Christ gave you His all?
As we celebrate Memorial Day may we honor the men and woman who served this great country and thank God for those who gave it their all so the "we" are made stronger. See you in church!!!
Almighty God, you ask of us nothing You did not ask of Your Son. Give me, Father, the strength I need to live in such a sacrificial way. Help me, oh Lord, not to fear giving and not trusting that my needs will be met by You. Lord, may I enter into Your house not seeking to be blessed but to be a blessing to all I encounter. Lord, thank you for this church family, my wife and my children. May I serve each of them as Your Son serves me. Forgive me of my sins as I pray this and all things in the name of Your son, Jesus. Amen
This morning driving to church I was blessed to see a large group of deer standing in a field. The peace that washed over me as I sat and watched for a few moments. There watching my mind drifted and I imagined how it must have felt to stand in the presence of Jesus and listening to His teachings. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”—John 8:12 Would I have understood?
Today I know what my Lord was saying and I know today like every day is a new day to spread the presence and message of Jesus. We know it is our calling: to shine Jesus’ light into a world that needs to taste and see that God is good. We do not have to travel far. The truth is wherever you go today, you will find people for whom Jesus came and loved and taught us about. He now calls us to reflect His love and truth to them, to let the light of Jesus shine through each of us.
Some of you may be asking yourself what does spreading this light look like? Jesus taught and showed us:Treat others with respect, meet them at their point of need, embrace their hurting, seek the lost, speak words that draw others to His love, light, and truth, and In John 13 it says to love other believers. Folks we are called to be what the herd of deer was for me this morning in this world. This is doable! God bless and I will see you later in church.
Almighty God may all honor and glory be yours in my life. Help me Lord, to be Your light, Your love, and truth into the lives of each person I meet today. Help me Father, to keep my words aligned with Your teachings and doings. May my body language be of gentleness and hope. Lord forgive me when I fall into the trap that gives me excuses for being anything different than Your light. I believe you expect my best everyday and every moment. Jesus, I pray this in Your name and for Your glory, amen.
Hurrying down to my back shed to get something, I went right by a beautiful daffodil that I only noticed while hustling back to my project. This stopped me dead in my tracks for some reason. As I stood there looking at the daffodil I asked myself; "When did it pop its head up?" I was out there quite a few times and it was not there. But it had to be?
As I stared at that perfect flower I thought "maybe I need to slow down a bit". Living life too fast, too hectic, I am not seeing the happenings of the now right under my nose. People, friends taking burdens off my plate, lifting me up and I do not notice because I need to do, I am busy. This flower was a perfect reminder, as if the whole of God's beautiful creation could be discovered within this one flower. despite the dead all around it.
This is the same way with grace. Grace can be tasted in one brief moment in life. When hope seems gone or the business of life is too much the great grace of God can happen out of no where. God does not need a grand back splash of mountains or ocean, you do not need to travel to some remote place. You can discover the love of God and hope anywhere at any time. God is not limited, in fact I have witnessed new life out of death.
As I stood there at the flower, joy filled my soul. I am loved. I thought of the fellowship, the laughter, ribbing and God moments during clean-up earlier in the day. The love seen at an open house, the love of daughters kidnapping their mom and the simple smile of a neighbor walking by.
A simple flower, a reminder of the beauty of life and how it can happen at a moments notice, no matter how things may seem. Let us not get too busy thinking "I must do it all", too crazy in this life not to enjoy the moments and see the love of others in our path. Let us not forget to accept the blessings of others and be a blessing as God is for us. You never know what that blessing may cause. Slow down....Happy Mother's day and I will see you later this morning.
Lord, thank you for the reminder to pause, to notice the beauty of life. Help me, Lord, to accept the love of others and see this more clearly. Father, thank you for surrounding me with good people. I give You thanks and praise in Jesus' name. Amen
15 The Son is the image of the invisible God, the one who is first over all creation,
16 Because all things were created by him: both in the heavens and on the earth, the things that are visible and the things that are invisible. Whether they are thrones or powers, or rulers or authorities, all things were created through him and for him.
17 He existed before all things, and all things are held together in him.
18 He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the one who is firstborn from among the dead so that he might occupy the first place in everything.
19 Because all the fullness of God was pleased to live in him, 20 and he reconciled all things to himself through him— whether things on earth or in the heavens. He brought peace through the blood of his cross.
There are times, many in fact, that I have to read the scripture multiple times to begin to get what it may be saying. The passage above is one of those. As I read the passage over and over what I gleaned was; that it is Jesus, God, that holds everything together. When I walk out to a beautiful sunrise or hear the melodies of the birds and I think "my goodness, how beautiful", I must realize all of this was His idea, His creation and handiwork.
Have you ever said, "boy it takes your breath away"? What you are really saying is Jesus is the reason you lost your breath. Whether you are taking that first bite of fresh watermelon this summer or traveling in the beauty of what nature offers, we must realize it is God's doings through Jesus. When I think of the awe, the grandeur, the peace it brings, I must ask if I am giving God the Glory for what He has given me or blessed me with at that moment. Do we live in the gratitude Paul speaks of.
Paul even goes further though, he says to look at all the ugliness as well; the sinfulness, corruption and the evil. This was not the intention of God but it is through Jesus the world has been redeemed. The very one who created the world in the beginning is the same Jesus through whom the world is now redeemed. When Jesus went to that cross it is so much more than just the forgiveness of my sins but it is the act to redeem the world around us as well.
Makes me wonder, how can our lives not be a living example of redemption? What a powerful message Paul gives to us in the passage above. I pray you can come and join us on this day! Pastor Carl
Father, thank you. I know I am Your creation and Your love redeemed me and gave me new life. I realize that You redeemed and loved the whole of creation but You know my name; You sent Your Son for me. Father, keep teaching me ways how to love and value what You have created in a deeper way, daily. Forgive me when I turn away, I ask this and all things in the name of Jesus, the Logos. Amen.
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006