Advent Devotions

All are invited as we Make Room this Advent season. 

Living Memorials

Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

On this Memorial Day, we pause to honor the brave women and men who have lost their lives in service to our country. Their sacrifices remind us of the profound cost of our freedoms and the depth of their commitment to protect and defend. As we remember these heroes, we are also called to reflect on our responsibilities as followers of Jesus, embodying the gospel of love and compassion in our daily lives.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:12-13

Here the evangelist speaks to the ultimate act of love and sacrifice, paralleling the devotion of those who died in service. Their actions mirror the sacrificial love Jesus demonstrated on the cross. As we honor their memory, we are inspired to live out the same selfless love and commitment in our communities.

Our remembrance should propel us into action, echoing the values these individuals fought to uphold. We are called to be peacemakers, to extend grace, and to seek justice. In practical terms, this means reaching out to those in need, standing against injustice, and being a source of hope and encouragement. The gospel compels us to love our neighbors, just as these fallen heroes demonstrated through their service.

On this solemn day, let’s not only remember their sacrifice but also renew our dedication to living out the principles of the gospel. In doing so, we might just honor them as living memorials by continuing their legacy of love, compassion, and unwavering commitment to the greater good.

May God’s peace find you today.  -Pastor Peter

Let us pray… Gracious God, help us honor those we’ve lost by living out your love and compassion daily, serving others selflessly and reflecting your grace. Amen.

Previously…

For the Beauty of the Earth

The beauty and majesty of God’s creation are vast and uncontainable by any human-made structure. Four walls, a floor, and a roof can never encapsulate the full splendor of the world God has made. Romans 1:20 tells us, “Ever since the creation of the world God’s eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been seen and understood through the things God has made.” This verse reminds us that through nature, we are witness to God’s core identity.

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Value the Variety

On May 10, as midnight approached, I drove to Centerville and stopped to look at the sky. The northern lights were visible and I took a few pictures.

There was a beauty to the subtle shimmering light streaking the night sky.

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Gardenia

In the petals of the Gardenia, there’s a reflection of the transformative power of the Pentecost event described in the passage from Acts that framed our worship yesterday. Just as the Holy Spirit descended upon the disciples with tongues of fire, igniting their hearts with divine fervor, so too the Gardenia burst forth with vibrant blooms, ablaze with the essence of life.

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Blessings in Action

This Sunday we’ll take time together to say, “thank you!” This is for all the ways those connected to our church have given of their time and energy over the past year to make possible the mission and ministries we share. For all of these collected efforts, God is truly accomplishing something amazing in our midst.

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