Ministry Updates for Friday, October 30th, 2020

 Facebook Live Worship—Sunday, November 1st, at 9:30 a.m.

Please join us as we again worship through Facebook Live. Use this link to watch the service. And please consider passing it along.

 In-Person Worship – 11am – No Reservation Needed

Please wear a mask and we will maintain safe social distance.

 Scripture – Matthew 5:45 (See 5:43-48)

…for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 

 Reflection – Preceding Grace

God’s grace goes before us. It precedes us. Before we have any desire to be good, before we have achieved any kind of sainthood, He has been good to us all along.

 Jesus, in sharing the words above, tells us this is why we should love and pray for even our enemy. He says that God shows love to the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

 Did you ever wonder why ‘good things happen to bad people’? Apparently God is blessing them. This is troubling, to be sure. But if this was the end of the story, Jesus would have stopped preaching.

 Without a doubt, we are called to respond to God. We are called to labor in faith toward the eradication of evil in our own hearts and in the world. For this too, we need grace, God’s unmerited assistance and love.

 But God starts with an example. Just love, and hope people eventually get it. Love without condition. Love with abandon.

 We watch and this is not God’s lack of discipline. Quite the contrary. We hopefully know from experience that to love and pray for our enemy takes emotional energy. And we know that this love of God does not back down, not even in the face of a cross.

 Love is the principle. God gives it to everyone. And he hopes we eventually figure it out. Until then, he is going to continue to rain that love down on us, until we learn to love his reign.

 Our Prayer

God of Love and God of Grace, we need you to make it rain. We need your love to rain on us. On this day, we especially give you thanks for things we do not even know you are doing for us. We give you thanks that you initiate all that is good in our lives. We give you thanks that you watch over us and protect us, even as you watch over the sparrow. We give you thanks that you woo us into a relationship with you and with your family, the children of God. We give you thanks that you convict us of your goodness, and that you convict us of the reality we can live lives filled with love and free from hate. We thank you for your grace, which precedes all of our responses. May we learn to love as you call us to. Amen.