The date of today’s article is our 27th wedding anniversary. I remember November 12, 1994 clearly. It was a beautiful fall day in Atlanta. Colleen and I were surrounded by loving family and friends. The only aspect of the memory that brings me some sadness is the number of people who were present at our wedding who have since died. Yet I remain grateful for the family relationships, for a wonderful wife who has put up with me all these years, and for our sons who make us proud each day.
The senior pastor of the church I served in Jacksonville often repeated a saying that I love. He said that “God gives His very best to those who leave the choice with Him.” There is great wisdom and truth in this statement. What I have leaned over time is that it is by no means a Pollyanna statement. Leaving the choice to God requires patience, trust, faith, obedience, and incredible perseverance in the face of adversity. Truly, it is the living out of what Eugene Peterson called “a long obedience in the same direction.”
This brings me to the scripture passages from 1 Samuel that we will explore this Sunday. 1 Samuel 2: 1-3 is Hannah’s prayer of rejoicing upon dedicating her son Samuel to God. 1 Samuel 1: 4-20 describes Hannah’s deep agony, prayer for a son, and vow to set aside this son to serve God. I am working on a message entitled “Prayers, Returns, and Layaways.” I depend upon your prayers as I craft messages each week. Thank you in advance for your prayerful support.
Finally, friends, it is the time of year when we will all start receiving requests from charitable organizations for end of year giving. Please prayerfully consider a generous gift to Grace United Methodist Church before 2021 comes to an end. God has blessed us in so many ways this year, and I know that our calling is to continue to pass on those blessings to others through the life of this church!
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!