Worship at Home for Sunday May 14 2023

Dear Friends,

This Sunday Jesus ask the Father to give the disciples (and us) the gift of the Holy Spirit. Take time to think about the good gifts which God has given to you.

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

  • Since Sunday is Mother’s Day, the Dorcas have donated flowers to be given to all the women in worship.
  • Choir on Wednesday at 7pm
  • All Church Bowling on Sunday, May 21 at 1pm
  • Pub Theology at Clancy’s on Thursday, May 25 at 6:30pm


Pastor Stephanie DeLong

Scripture: Acts 17:22-31, Psalm 66:8-20, 1 Peter 3:13-22, John 14:15-21

Sermon: A Gift of Love

When you think of love what comes to mind? Is it hearts, roses or sweet little notes left around the house? Is love a feeling that overwhelms you? If you look for love in popular media, it will often center around romance. But love is so much more than that.

When you think about gifts of love that you have received what do you remember? Do you remember the expensive gifts? Do you cherish memories of small heartfelt gifts? Is it an act of kindness that warms your heart? Do you cherish the presence of the persons you love?

God loves us so much that Jesus was sent to live among us. God’s love is known in relationship. A relationship is so much more than a feeling. Jesus walked with people in their life’s journey. Jesus ate with the important and the excluded. Jesus stood up against bullies. Jesus served the disciples. Jesus gave his life for us. Jesus rose from the dead for us. Jesus ascended into heaven for us. Jesus will come again for us. Jesus loves us.

Jesus asks this of us, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) If we love Jesus, we will keep his commandments. For Jesus love is not just a warm fuzzy feeling, but a deep commitment lived out in our daily lives. We will serve one another. We will be companions with one another. We will take care of one another. We will let others care for us when we are in need. After all Jesus gave people the opportunity to feed him.

Love gives good gifts. Jesus in love asks the Father to give us an amazing gift, the Holy Spirit. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you forever.” (John 14:16) The Advocate is also called the Spirit of Truth who will abide with us. The Spirit like Jesus is a part of our lives. Like love, the Holy Spirit is hard to define, but we know when the Spirit’s presence surrounds us.

The Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives will be unique to our needs. One person might need the Spirit’s guidance in a life changing decision. A grieving person will need the Spirit’s comfort. A person who has just received good news will rejoice in the Spirit. The Spirit gives us what we need when we need it.

Love and the Holy Spirit are a bit like the prayer shawls that are stored in the meeting room. When we feel cold, frightened, or alone, the comfort of a shawl surrounds us with much needed warmth. Sometimes the shawls are passed around the congregation, and everyone ties a knot on the shawl fringes to indicate a prayer said by each person who touches the shawl. The comforting touch of the shawl reminds us of others loving us as Jesus asks and that the Holy Spirit is with us in all our moments.

The carnations that the youth and children passed to the women present in worship this morning are signs of love. These carnations are lovely to look at, but they also represent the intangible presence of love and the Spirit in our fellowship. We give the carnations to all the women present for worship on this Sunday not just mothers. Why? Because we understand that for many women, Mother’s Day is a bittersweet. We pray that the flowers may serve as signs of joy and/or comfort depending on your need.

For the disciples who heard Jesus’ words of promise in John in what is known as the Farewell Discourse (John 14-17). For them Jesus’ teaching would be a bittersweet. The tinge of the crucifixion would color the words of love and comfort with sorrow. The resurrection would fill the message with joy. The ascension gives hope of heaven. The promise of Christ’s return places a sense of responsibility to follow the command to love one another.

As an Easter people, Jesus words offer words of love, joy, hope, and promise. We live as people of love and promise. We live in the gift of love that Jesus gives to us. The gift of the Holy Spirit.


Prayer: Holy Spirit, we give thanks for your loving presence today and always. May you give us the encouragement that we need. Amen.

Prayer list: Elizabeth, Cheryl, Dave, David, Evelyn, Jason, Paulette, Bobby, Kevin, Jim, Darryl (doing better!), Marilee, Beverly, Jim, Jenny, Jaqueline-Dixon’s daughter, Kirk, Barbara, Mitchell, Mahala, Mary, La Rae, Bud, Tyra, Marilyn, Tom, Jeff, Jesse, Kate, Kyle, Carmen, Sandy, Gary, Terry, Bob, Mark’s brother Billy and sister-in-law Jane, Delores W., Tyra, Freya, Vicki B. and for peace.