Sunday brought another beautiful day of travel to Greenfield and another wonderful morning of Bible study and worship. It was great to see June Davis, who is feeling better, and also to hear from Juliana West the good news about her daughter and granddaughter Stephanie and Marcie Noad’s continued recovery from their car accident injuries. Of course, we continue to pray for them and for the young man who remains in the hospital from that accident. We also remembered in prayer the young high-school girl who was hit by a car last week in Springfield. These incidents remind us that, because we never know what the next moment will hold, it is important to keep our relationship with God current and fresh.
The study in James took us further into chapter 4 today, where James chastises the believers for putting their worldly relationships before God, cautioning them (and us) that “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” Humility before God requires that we (1) recognize God’s holiness and righteousness, (2) admit our own sinfulness and inability to attain that holiness, and (3) receive the grace and mercy that comes from knowing Jesus Christ. Without these three, we will find ourselves in opposition to God.
Today’s lectionary included readings from Esther and Mark, and the theme of our worship service was “Letting Go and Letting God.” Esther found herself in a place where she had to choose between the comfortable, secure life of the queen and standing up for her people. We often need to make hard choices, as well. Our challenge from these passages was to stand up for God’s purposes not only in our own lives and families, but in our society, as well.
Next Sunday, October 4, is designated World Communion Sunday. You may remember that this observance was first celebrated in 1936 in Presbyterian churches in the U.S. and overseas as a sign of our unity in the Body of Christ. Through the ensuing years other Protestant churches have joined the observance, including the United Methodist Church, the Disciples of Christ, United Church of Christ, Reformed churches, and others. As you celebrate at the Lord’s Table this coming Sunday, even if you are not a part of the mentioned denominations, my prayer is that your congregation will join ours, and believers worldwide, in praying for unity in the body of Christ as Jesus also prayed.
A good friend shared this anonymous piece with me this week, and I thought I would share it with you. It is important that we “let go” of worldly things and “let God” work in our lives, but it also important to understand those things that we need to let go of so we can grow emotionally, as well as spiritually.
To “let go” does not mean to stop caring; it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To “let go” is not to cut myself off; it is the realization that I cannot control another.
To “let go” is not to enable, but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To “let go” is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To “let go” is not to try to change or blame another; it is to make the most of myself.
To “let go” is not to care for, but to care about.
To “let go” is not to fix, but to be supportive.
To “let go” is not to judge, but to allow another to be a human being.
To “let go” is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes, but to allow others to affect their own destinies.
To “let go” is not to be protective; it is to permit another to face reality.
To “let go” is not to deny, but to accept.
To “let go” is not to nag, scold, or argue, but instead to search out my own shortcomings and correct them.
To “let go” is not to adjust everything to my desires, but to take each day as it comes and cherish myself in it.
To “let go” is not to regret the past, but to grow and live for the future.
To “let go” is to fear less and love more.
My prayer is that this week you will find the grace to “let go” of the things that hold you back from faith and find the reward that comes from “letting God” work in your life.
Pastor Mary Kay