Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Full reading – John 6:25-59
27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
People are working for food that spoils. When we make Jesus our savior we have faith that God has given us eternal life. Jesus is the food that never spoils, that God has given us.
Dear God, we thank you for the food you have provided for us, and the everlasting food through Jesus our savior. Amen.
(written by one of our young people)
Monday, March 18, 2019
Full reading – John 6:1-24
5 When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” 6 He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do. 7 Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”
8 Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, 9 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). 11 Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
12 When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.”
The story of the loaves and fishes – what a favorite this was in Sunday School! I imagined piles of beautiful shiny fish and a bottomless bread basket, plenty to feed the crowd of five thousand who had come to hear Jesus. All of this bounty came from the miracle Jesus worked with a young boy’s simple lunch of five loaves and two fish!
As with many stories in scripture, readers may find many levels of meaning in these words. Perhaps the story means that generosity is contagious. As the boy offered to share his simple lunch, maybe others in the crowd were inspired to reach into their pouches and packs and found that they too had a little extra. “I always bake more bread than my family eats. Please help yourself, ” offered a mother. A young man said, “My boat brought in a really good catch this morning. I have plenty of fish we cooked on the shore.” And so it was that not one person went away hungry that day.
But I wonder if the crowd of five thousand, thronging to the place where Jesus was speaking, were hungry for a far more important food, the word of God. Picture them spellbound by Jesus’ message of love, forgiveness, hope – then rushing back home in their excitement to share the good news they had heard, the spiritual food that we share with them even today. Isn’t that a miracle!
Dear Lord, teach us to be generous with our possessions, our time, our love. Take what we have to offer and multiple our small gifts to the glory of your kingdom. Let every last one be fed with Your holy word. Amen
Saturday, March 16, 2019
Full reading – John 5:31-47
36 “I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to finish—the very works that I am doing—testify that the Father has sent me. 37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified concerning me. You have never heard his voice nor seen his form, 38 nor does his word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one he sent.39 You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me to have life.
Reflection: Do you have a favorite scripture that speaks to you of Jesus?
I have had many favorite scripture verses over the years. One that is personal to me comes from Romans chapter 8. Really, the whole chapter is wonderful, but I especially love the ending words in the chapter – verses 38-39:
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I needed to be reassured about those truths, when I felt there were forces that could threaten to tear me away from faith. We look at the evils in the world, terrible diseases, warfare – you name it. We could think that God must not care much if such wrong things exist in the world. But Paul is saying here that whatever hardships or heartache we face, they are no match compared to God’s power of love. God’s love is stronger, God’s love will prevail, and God will keep us safe to eternal life even if the very foundation of our lives is crumbling beneath us. I have to keep my eyes on Jesus, have to keep remembering that God has given me this earthly life as but a prelude to all that will come after I have taken my final breath in this life. And nothing can tear me away from God’s love in Jesus Christ my savior.
Let me not blame you, Lord, when bad things happen to me or to those around me whom I love. Keep my eyes firmly fixed on you, so that I may continue to put my trust in you. Let me read your Word and find truths that lead me to eternal life in Jesus Christ. This I pray in Christ’s name. Amen.
Friday, March 15, 2019
Full reading – John 5:1-30
Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”
Thirty-eight years is a long time to wait. The man in this verse seems to be alone and friendless. Jesus is always the friend of the friendless, but it might well have been that this man’s hope had died and only despair remained.
The question could be asked, does the man in the story really want to be changed? Do we desire to be changed by the healing, redemptive power of Jesus, to become a new person through his love or do we just continue to live apart from the spirit of the Lord?
Only we can respond to our Lord’s call for repentance in our lives.
Lord, we pray that we will respond to your call with all our hearts minds and strength, knowing your love will never fail us, even to the ends of the earth. Amen
Thursday, March 14, 2019
Full reading – John 4:27-54
31 Meanwhile his disciples urged him, “Rabbi, eat something.”
32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you know nothing about.”
33 Then his disciples said to each other, “Could someone have brought him food?”
34 “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.
How may we be nourished in doing God’s will?
We may be nourished by doing God’s will in so many ways. One way I have been nourished by God’s will is when I served a meal to those in need. When I served a meal it made me feel good and influenced me to do more. God’s will is for us to help each other. When we help someone else it not only nourishes our soul but helps them too.
Lord Jesus, please guide us to do your work and be nourished. Amen.
(written by one of our young people)
Wednesday, March 13, 2019
Full reading – John 4:1-26
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”
We all need water. The woman could give Jesus water, but only Jesus can give living water. Jesus gives living water because he is God’s son. When we drink water we get thirsty again. When we drink living water we will have eternal life.
Jesus wants everyone to be in the faith of God. “If you knew the gift of God, … he would have given you living water.” I think that living water gives you life, because that’s Jesus’ life.
Dear God, please let everyone have faith in you, so we can all go to heaven, to see you and Jesus. I want your life to help me get through challenges. Thank you for your life in me through Jesus. Amen.
(written by one of our young people)
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Full reading – John 3:22-36
26 They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.”
27 To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. 28 You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’ 29 The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. 30 He must become greater; I must become less.”
What We Believe
We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only son and our savior, who lived among us to teach us and die for us. He rose again to give us the promise of eternal life in him John 3:16. He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit, which is God dwelling in us John 14:15-17. We seek God’s word in the Bible, the foundation of our faith. Our mission as a church is to proclaim the good news of Christ to all. We honor Christ through worship and fellowship, encouraging one another in faith, hope and love 1 Corinthians 13:13, and serving our neighbors with compassion and justice.
We belong to the United Church of Christ. As a congregation we are granted the autonomy to govern our local church, and prayerfully make the best decisions we can on how to live out our calling as believers. Each person has the freedom and responsibility of discerning for themselves how faith in Jesus Christ impacts their daily walk and their worldview. We respect one another’s differences because even though we are diverse, we are still part of Christ’s body.
We look forward to welcoming you some day soon. Peace to you in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
10:00 am Worship Service
10:00 am Children's Adventure Hour