[At first, Sunday’s opening hymn during our worship service seemed out of place in light of the previous day’s tragic and racist events in Charlottesville, Virginia. How can we “come with joy” when we have such heavy hearts? Verse 3 of this hymn reminds us. “As Christ breaks bread and bids us share, each proud division ends. The love that made us makes us one, and strangers now are friends, and strangers now are friends.” The good news of our faith is that God’s love can overcome any proud division and strangers can become friends. That’s why we can “come with joy” even with heavy hearts.]
When I was in the fifth or sixth grade, my best friend, Danny who was like a brother to me came over to my house to hang-out as we so often did that summer together.
Today, we, the brothers and sisters in Christ, gather around the Lord’s table to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion, to receive forgiveness for how we have intentionally or unintentionally hurt one another.
Pastor Robert referred to the recent events of the white supremacy march in Charlottesville, Virginia as well as the threat of war with North Korea as examples of how our world is broken and dysfunctional in so many ways.
As a small group, offer this prayer together for world peace and mutual understanding:
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[Above is a picture of our Athens First Saturday outreach this past weekend. We had teams working on several projects to bless our community through several acts of kindness. The photo below is our mission team who arrived safely in Honduras on the same day we were serving here in our Athens community. They will be sharing God’s love with the people they serve this week. Thanks to our Athens First Saturday outreach and our Honduras mission team, we are living out our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of our community AND our world. Way to go, church!]
We offer to you our individual prayers as well; for those who our on our hearts and minds this morning who are grieving; who are facing medical challenges; who are lonely; who are feeling relational or financial stress; and those who are anxious about their future. O God, like Jacob, may we yield to you, and be the people you have called us to be. We pray this in the name of Jesus who taught us to pray together saying, “Our Father, who art in heaven…”
He told me that this wrestler was 170 pounds and he had these incredibly thick wrists and legs built like telephone poles. During his high school career, he won four consecutive state titles and finished his High School career with an undefeated record of 166 wins and no losses. Since he was in the eighth grade, national journalists referred to him as the LeBron James of wrestling.
We used to own three white West Highland terrier dogs before we moved here to Athens. We still have one of those three. Since we’ve moved to Athens, we’ve added another westie so now we have two of them.
When I was in the 1st or 2nd grade my parents gave me this really cool looking spaceship complete with action figures and light-up screens for my birthday. This spaceship could fold up like a little briefcase so that I could take it to school and play with it during recess.