Worship at Home for May 22

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the sixth Sunday of Easter when we think about the peace that comes from Jesus’ and loving God.

Wednesday, I had the privilege of organizing the Senior class for their Baccalaureate Service. The Seniors did a wonderful job by sharing music, scriptures, prayers, and a devotion. Kaye West led the hand bell choir in playing “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”. Thank you to all who participated and attended.

Interest has been expressed in going to a Cardinals game this summer as joint youth group with BEM. Would others like to go to the game as a group? How about renting a bus and riding together? Please let me know if you are interested.

If you would like a home visit, conversation, or home communion, please call me at 573-437-2779 (church) or 573-832-2475 (cell).

Announcements:

  • Confirmation Bible Class Sunday after worship.
  • Thursday, May 26 is Ascension Day. Mediate on Jesus’ ascending into heaven.
  • Mobile Market will be on Friday, May 27
  • Signup Sheets for Lay Reader and Greeter are in the back of the sanctuary.

Prayers and Blessings,

Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture Lessons: Acts 16:9-15, Psalm 67, Revelation 21:10,22-22:5,
John 14:23-29-35

Sermon: Love God

One of my favorite things to do in summer is to sit in a tube and float on a river. When I was young the tubes were old inner tubes from large tires and would have valves that stuck out and could prove quite uncomfortable while sitting in the inner tube. The tubes have improved greatly over the years. Now the tubes are specially manufactured for floating. At the Winter Water Park, the tubes are large enough to sit in comfortably and are transparent enough to see swimmers who attempt to swim under your tube while floating in the lazy river. Tubes designed for Ozark streams will have head rests and cup holders which make for a very relaxing and even peaceful float down the river. I love that peaceful feeling that comes while floating down a river.

Revelation 22:1 tells of the river of life which flows from the throne of God. When life is stressful, I will imagine what it would be like to float on this life-giving river of God. A feeling of peace will fill my soul and the stresses of life will subside while I meditate on this image of floating on God’s River of life and love. Try this sometime when you feel overwhelmed and let me know if it helps.

Jesus promises peace. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27 (NIV) Jesus gives peace, but not as the world gives peace. Jesus’ peace is a complete sense of wholeness that God is in heaven, and all is alright with the world.

How does the world define peace? Peace treaties usually specify that two groups who have been at war stop shooting at each other on a specific time and date. The world’s peace is often the temporary cessation of violent conflict. This peace is welcomed by those who are in the war zone but does not come with the wholeness that God’s peace brings.

Often people who live in noisy and chaotic environments will wish for some peace and quiet. People who struggle to make ends meet long for the peace that comes from financial stability. Those who suffer from the pain and discomfort of an illness pray for the peace of healing. When disaster threatens, we desire the peace of God’s strength to help us through the troubles.

The peace that Jesus gives offers the wholeness and relief that we all desire. The reassurance that all will be well can only come from God. To obtain this sense of assurance we need to love God completely and follow in Jesus’ way.

The women who gathered by the river in Philippi to pray sought to love God (Acts 16:9-15). Lydia listened to Paul’s story about Jesus. God opened her heart. She and her household were baptized because of learning about Jesus. She became a keeper of Jesus’ word and loved God. Together by that river they celebrated life and peace in God.

We can gather together to pray. We can imagine that we are gathering by the river of life that flows from the throne of God. We can pray together for the healing of the nations, our personal wounds, and troubles. We can love God through following Jesus’ commandments. For by loving God, we may receive the peace of Christ and ease our troubled hearts.

Prayer: God of peace and life, may we open our hearts to hear your voice. May we love you with our whole hearts and seek to do your will. Amen.

Prayer list: All who have been on our list in the past and Elizabeth, Cheryl, Mindy, Dave, David, Ken and Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, Jaqueline, Friends of Shelby, Bobby, Kevin, Jim, Darryl, Gary, and for peace in the world in Ukraine and other war-torn places.

The Charles Anderson (Ruth and Bob Depperman’s son-in-law) Family in Bowling Green Kentucky at his passing last week.

The Community of St. Clair as several teens were involved in an accident and one teen died on Thursday of last week.

 

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