Scripture: Galatians 4:4-5
But when the fulfillment of the time came, God sent his Son, born through a woman, and born under the Law. This was so he could redeem those under the Law so that we could be adopted.
Thought for the Day: I think it is a sign that I’m getting old when my first thought at seeing that it was the last day of the month was to say, “Where did the month go?” I remember my mother and grandmother saying that almost every month, and I thought it was a weird thing to suggest. The month we were completing was within a day or two of the same length as each of the previous months. Now I am no scientist, and I can hardly wrap my brain around discussions in quantum physics that suggest that time really does not exist, but as one caught in my own subjective reality, there are periods of time that fly by, and others that are slow and deliberate. There is also time that I would not measure in regard to its length, but depth. There are moments of time that are rich and full, and I might even call Holy. I believe Paul recognized how time was a bit more complicated than some linear concept determined by the sun and the moon.
Prayer: Wherever I recognize your presence, O Lord, may I give such moments full recognition…slowing them down and enjoying. Amen.
Come and Support
The Youth From
PeachTree Christian Church
Scripture: Galatians 2:16
However, we know that a person isn’t made righteous by the works of the Law but rather through the faithfulness of Jesus Christ. We ourselves believed in Christ Jesus so that we could be made righteous by the faithfulness of Christ and not by the works of the Law—because no one will be made righteous by the works of the Law.
Thought for the Day: The church staff had a great conversation that focused on this verse from Galatians. So often we talk about our faithfulness as a means of “earning” or “receiving” the grace of God, but for Paul, grace was grace. There was no special incantation or project or way of thinking that would make us worthy of grace. If there was, it wouldn’t be grace. Because the translation of the original Greek to English is a bit vague, it could be understood as: “…through faith in Jesus Christ,” but that does not make sense in Pauline theology. Faith is important, but faith does not change the nature of grace. Everything is dependent upon the graciousness of Jesus – his faithful love. This is the reason our identity statement is “because God first loved us.” Our faith is our acknowledgement and gratitude for the grace, and from that comes a changed life…one that seeks to live the love first life.
Prayer: With each morning provide me a new appreciation of the magnitude and beauty of your grace, O God who first loved me. Allow for others to see in me a way of living and loving that reveals your grace. Amen.
Last Two Congregational Meetings
at Noon & 7:00pm
Scripture: Jeremiah 17:5
The LORD proclaims: Cursed are those who trust in mere humans, who depend on human strength and turn their hearts from the LORD.
Thought for the Day: Mandy Hale, a well known author, offers the following advice:
You don’t always need a plan.
Sometimes you just need to breathe,
trust, let go and see what happens.
I appreciate Mandy’s advice, though as she suggests, it is not the right advice for every moment and situation. God gave us brains and the capacity for tenacity, and quite often we just need to step up and act. With that said, there are moments and situations when we need to determine what is out of our control. All the brains and tenacity will not change what cannot be changed. This is when we need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens. And if it doesn’t turn out in a good way, we cannot beat ourselves up. The sadness and defeat of today does not need to be our defining emotions and experience. Continue to work at knowing when it is right to step up and act, and when to take a deep breath, trust, let go and see what happens.
Prayer: Let me trust you, O Gracious God. Let me trust in the skills and wisdom that you have provided me when it makes sense to use these gifts. Let me take a breath, and trust in your eternal and redemptive love when all the wisdom and skills cannot change what has been set in motion. Give me the capacity for tenacity when it is right, and give me a humble and patient heart when I need to simply let go. Amen.
SPREAD THE WORD
Invite A Friend
Come and Support
This Youth Theater Group
From PeachTree Christian Church
Prayer for the Week:
Who am I, Lord?
Am I only what science can report,
or does my humanity require
the imagination of the poet?
What am I, Lord?
Am I an individual body with
responsibility only to myself?
Am I answerable only to my needs?
How am I to understand the words
that suggest my divine origin?
How am I to exercise the belief
that I was created in your image?
Teach me, O Gracious God,
how to honor my place
as a beloved child
who carries within me
something holy and heavenly.
Guide my faith to a place where I am
both honored and humbled
to illustrate your divine nature.
Allow for my life
in the loving of you,
the loving of self
the loving of neighbor
Reflect a growing appreciation
that your image
found within me
cannot be easily captured
or described…only lived.
Scripture: 1st Corinthians 13:12
Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known.
Thought for the Day: In this verse, I believe Paul is speaking about our short-sided understanding of God and the divine nature. Everything in this life falls short of who God truly is. Even the word GOD is nothing but three letters that we link together and, with some trepidation, declare it points to the Holy Other that is beyond our capacity to understand. With that said, we are continually called to explore who God is, and in light of what we come to learn, to live our lives accordingly. This means that we should be asking questions, not only about God, but how do we limit our understanding of God? How do we make idols or images of God that hinder our capacity to know God? What childish or shallow or self-serving understandings of God rule over us in ways that are unhealthy. In today’s sermon, the following thought is important:
Too many Christians portray god as some old guy who lives just beyond the clouds, who throws around thunder and lightening, who seems to be angry and petty, fickle and erratic – with the emotional maturity and temperament of a pre-pubescent boy. And we wonder why more and more people say they like Jesus, but they find it difficult to believe in God. And they sure don’t want to be associated with Christians who would believe in such a god. Like many of them, I don’t believe in that god either…
Prayer: Continue to be patient with us, O Gracious God, even as we try to box you in and control who you are. Continue to make known to us your loving nature that we have glimpsed in Jesus Christ. Continue to help us understand that you are God and we are not. At the same time, let us recognize how we were created in your image. Amen.
Meetings Today & This Wednesday
Scripture: Matthew 28:19
Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…
Thought for the Day: Catherine Mowry LaCugna was a fascinating Catholic theologian who taught at Notre Dame until her death at the young age of 44. I have had a couple of quotes from her floating around in my notes for years. One of them says this:
Just as the doctrine of the Trinity is not an abstract teaching about God apart from us but a teaching about God’s life with us and our life with each other, ecclesiology is not the study of an abstract church but a study of the actual gathering of persons in a common faith and a common mission…
She goes on to speak of how baptism within the church is not just a rite of passage for church membership, but an initiation into the very life of the Triune God. That’s powerful stuff, and it elevates the meaning of baptism beyond a nice experience for those wanting to publicly announce their faith. It is the ritual by which one claims his/her place within the fullness of the God who we claim as Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of all life.
Prayer: Bring me again to the waters of baptism. Draw me close, O Gracious God, to that experience through which my life is given to you, not simply for church membership, but for the living of your perfect relational love. Amen.
Scripture: Ephesians 1:9
God revealed his hidden design to us, which is according to his goodwill and the plan that he intended to accomplish through his Son.
Thought for the Day: I don’t know who said it, but I have always liked the reminder that work should not be entirely about survival or making sure we have enough. We do not work simply to purchase items and make sure we can retire. Work is about purpose and meaning. It is about bringing something to this earth that makes this place a little more like what God would want it to be. What does that mean when your job is not all that meaningful? What does it mean when it is difficult to find any sort of divine purpose in the tasks you do to earn a paycheck? I can’t say for sure, but I’ve got to believe that God is capable of finding a purpose even in what might appear to be a situation void of purpose. It may not be directly connected to what you were hired to do. It might be found in your purposeful presence that is brought to a place where everyone is only thinking about 5pm and going home.
Prayer: O Creator and Sustainer of Life, may the work you set before humanity in Jesus Christ be the work that I am able to do even while I am doing the work necessary for a paycheck. Amen.
…and don’t forget