Traces of Grace
Online Worship This Sunday
Don’t miss our worship service this Sunday morning live on Zoom at 10:00am. We will have a Kids Corner you won’t want to miss with Linda Sabin and Dennis. Pastor Sam will be continuing our sermon series "Simple Prayers... Faithful God" with a message from Ephesians 3:14-21 called "A Prayer for Freshness".
The Zoom link and Meeting ID for our service is in our online calendar, which can be accessed via our website at fumccollingswood.org/calendar. After the service is over, you will be able to view a recording from our website (www.fumccollingswood.org) or our Facebook Group (www.facebook.com/groups/CollingswoodFUMC)
Thought For Today
While vacationing in Maine, it was cloudy and cool, and Lisa and I asked ourselves, "what shall we do?" How could we make the most of our time here in a relaxing, renewing, and fun way? My wife was checking out some local ideas on her phone and said there was a lighthouse in York, Maine with a two mile hilly nature trail close by along the water. The word hilly did not appeal to me so I responded, "Let's go check out the lighthouse but 'when when pigs fly' on those hills honey" because I had just fallen a few days before and was having some back issues. I knew I could never make it on hilly terrain! She laughed and said “Well, you're in luck, because there is a fresh bread bakery a couple miles away called 'When Pigs Fly'.” We decided that was the better option for the morning, and I must say, the place was amazing, with a tremendous variety of breads, cookies etc...
There was something special about that place because it really catered and specialized in just one thing: exceeding the customer's expectations about breads and comfort foods. This kind of reminds me of our scripture focus for this coming Sunday. The Apostle Paul is praying for the church, many of whom might already know God or have a relationship with Christ, to go deeper in their journey... to experience more they could ever imagine. Sometimes along our life's journey, we can be surprised to discover that there is so much more to experience than what we thought. I believe this prayer calls us to examine God’s love for us with a new imagination that can bring hope in the midst of the difficult days we are experiencing right now. I am often brought to my knees knowing that God is doing way more than I can see. The uncertainties and the challenges that we face as individuals and as a society as the pandemic continues, or the political divisions, or even watching hurricanes and wildfires, are opportunities for us to personally and corporately show the love of Christ. Then when I read a simple prayer like this I am humbled and must confess “Lord, fill me with your love like that." So here’s the challenge...
We need to remember that God’s love is deeper and wider and longer than any of these things! This calls me to reflect in my own heart, how do I accept God’s amazing love deep with my own soul, and then how well am I doing in my world with the people I see and share with every day. It is the amazing love of Christ that can fill us and others, touching us with patience, grace, forgiveness, compassion and hope that we know Christ puts in us! After we read through this prayer I encourage everyone to spend some time reflecting on what this prayer might be saying to each of us today! Maybe there is something you can rejoice about, or something you might need to more deeply reflect on, or as I sometimes find in my life, things I need to confess and allow the Lord to redirect my heart and direction!
So I thought I would share this prayer for us to reflect on together. This can be a life changing prayer! There are some amazing things in this simple prayer about Faithful God found in Ephesians 3 :14-21...
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen
If you have any prayer concerns or ways we can serve you, please let us know. We desire to journey with you even through these days of social distancing. Remember, you are loved!
In His Grace,
Pastor Sam and the Staff