It really is true that there is no substitute for personal experience. This week, Colleen and I have experienced the covid virus first-hand. Thankfully, neither of us has had any significant breathing issues, but the discomfort, fatigue, and general exhaustion is tough. We are grateful that we can quarantine at home and we ask for your prayers as we recover. Several other Grace members are also struggling to recover, and our prayer team does a nice job of updating us on how folks are doing.
Because I have been in quarantine, I have not been able to get my copy of the new church directory, but I know that many of you have picked them up at the office. Please remember to pick up yours and then call a friend who is listed to see how that person is doing.
This Sunday, January 17, we will review Psalm 139: 1-6 and 13-18 and 1 Samuel 3: 1-10 and 15-20. My message is entitled “How to Astonish Your Friends and Confound Your Enemies.” Please take a close look at the entire third chapter of 1 Samuel. The story has so much to teach us about listening for God’s voice, about sharing even bad news honestly, and about living with courage. It is one of my favorite stories in scripture.
Speaking of honesty and courage, Monday, January 18, is the federal holiday honoring the birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. My message Sunday will reference his contributions to our faith and to our world. Recently, I came across a quote from Dr. King that is worth sharing. It goes like this: “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” It is a good time to ask ourselves if we are speaking up about things that matter. If we are, are we doing so in a way that furthers dialogue and reconciliation, or in a way that only increases strife? These are tough times for our world, but we have the power of the Holy Spirit living within us, so we do not need to fear anything.
I pray that God’s love and grace will fill you with joy and energy through the coming week!